Falcons Black had an early start for their Premier League, Division 2 game on Sunday as they were playing away against the Middlesbrough side, Grangetown (23/10/12). Despite recently being promoted, Grangetown were known to be a very experienced and physical opposition. However, with a full squad available, Falcons Black were excited and eager to get on court to implement some of the things they had been successfully working on during training earlier on in the week.
Falcons Black had a promising warm-up but as soon as the game started, they struggled to settle during the first quarter. Falcons Black’s circle defence, which consisted of Lauren Steadman (who also plays for Loughborough Lightning and Derbyshire’s Pennine) at Goal Defence (GD) and Issy Beighton (who also plays for Pennine) at Goal Keeper (GK), worked tirelessly to turn over balls. However, Falcons Black were finding it difficult to move the ball down court effectively and score from these opportunities. Grangetown took the first quarter 16-7 but Falcons Black did not let their heads go down and were still hungry for the win.
In fact, at the end of the first quarter, Falcons Black had found some fluidity in their game and therefore no changes were made at quarter time.
More composed in their play and deliberately slowing the pace of the game down, Falcons Black managed to pull a few goals back during the second quarter. Their patient play with the ball made it easier for shooters, Christie Simpson (Goal Attack) and Charlotte Roye (Goal Shooter) to convert Falcons Black’s chances. Unfortunately, a momentary lapse in concentration from the team towards the end of the quarter allowed Grangetown to further their lead though. The score after the second quarter was 28-18.
Changes were made to the Falcons Black team at half time. Sofija Djukic came on at Centre (C) and Anna Mulderrig came on at Wing Attack (WA). These changes enhanced Falcons Black’s game by providing a good link between their defence and attack. Together, the team scored five unanswered goals and closed the gap on Grangetown’s lead. In defence, Lauren Steadman continued to make some key interceptions, which helped to keep the quarter close. However, by the end of this fifteen minute period, Grangetown’s lead had been restored to its original advantage and they were 38-28 ahead. The third quarter score was 10-10 though and this gave Falcons Black an extra boost going into the final quarter.
Kaylea McQuade was brought on at Wing Defence (WD) for the fourth quarter. However, despite Falcons Black upping the tempo and playing at a higher intensity to close the deficit, Grangetown’s experience shone through and the home team pulled away again.
The final score was Grangetown 49-35 Falcons Black.
Although the game resulted in a loss, Falcons Black had a lot of positive things they could take home from the game, which will stand them in good stead for their next game.
Falcons Black’s ‘Player of the Match’ went to Lauren Steadman who made some key interceptions, and helped keep each quarter on a knife-edge for so long.
Starting line-up: GS- Charlotte Roye. GA- Christie Simpson. WA- Hannah Joseph. C- Kaylea McQuade. WD- Dominique McKee. GD- Lauren Steadman. GK- Issy Beighton.