Falcons Yellow were up against a very solid Nottingham Knights team in this week’s East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 game (21/10/12).
Right from the first whistle, Knights set their stall out by turning over Falcons Yellow’s centre pass and the opposition continued to play at a high level for the first five minutes, resulting in an early lead. Although Falcons Yellow defended up and down the court and worked hard to claw back the deficit, they were unable to take advantage of the turnovers they produced. This was because Knights were solid in defence as well, making a number of important interceptions of their own and Falcons Yellow found themselves trailing by seven goals to two at one point.
However, Falcons Yellow kept their composure and continued to apply pressure on Knights’ attack. In particular, the defensive trio of Beth Jackson (Goal Keeper), Samantha Brown (Goal Defence) and Tamsin Mason (Wing Defence) set the foundations for Falcons Yellow to claw back the deficit. This meant that after the first quarter, the score was level at nine goals each.
Falcons Yellow got off to a shaky start again in the second quarter but quickly settled down and started to play as only they know how – by pushing the opposition hard all the way. This quarter was a high tempo quarter with some excellent shooting from both sets of shooters and sterling defence from both teams. It was anyone’s guess who would come out on top as the teams went in to the half-time break tied at 19-19.
Both teams made changes at the half-time break. Falcons Yellow’s Rebecca Simms replaced Jo Holt who, although still recovering from illness, had given a strong performance for her team. Falcons Yellow adapted well to the changes made by Knights too, with patient play throughout the court and a strong defence once again making some crucial and timely interceptions.
Falcons Yellow’s hard work and determined defending paid off as it created the necessary openings for Falcons to attack. Laura Owen and Rebecca Simms combined well with the shooters and all four players produced some timely runs and accurate passing to work the ball into the circle. This allowed both Nina Warren and Sarah Bottomley to convert their shooting opportunities with deadly accuracy. This quarter was Falcons Yellow’s best and gave the team some breathing space. Falcons Yellow took the quarter by 16 goals to 9, meaning a three quarter time score of 35 -28.
The fourth quarter saw both teams evenly matched again. Although Falcons Yellow had a seven goal cushion they could not afford to relax or switch off. Unfortunately a few of Falcons Yellow’s passes went astray and this allowed Knights to come back.
Knights pegged Falcons Yellow back to within five goals during the quarter. However, the centre court duo of Owen and Simms helped Falcons Yellow keep their pressure on and the team started to pull away again. Knights did not respond and Falcons Yellow won the quarter 10-9.
Final score was Falcons Yellow 45-37 Nottingham Knights.
Falcons Yellow go into their next game against Lincoln City 2, sitting at the top of the table. The question is can they retain their unbeaten record thus far and make it six wins out of six.
The Players of the Match went to the defensive trio of Mason, Brown and Jackson.
Team - Sarah Bottomley (GS), Nina Warren (GA), Jo Holt (WA), Rebecca Sims (WA (sub), Laura Owen (C), Tamsin Mason (WD), Samantha Brown (GD), Beth Jackson (GK)