Sunday 23rd September saw Nottingham Knights take on Sleaford Barge in their East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 campaign.
This was a fast-paced game from the very first whistle right up to the very last. The first quarter saw the netball move from one end of the court to the other as both teams successfully converted from their centre passes. However, as the quarter moved on, Nottingham Knights made several crucial mid-court interceptions, which saw them take a 14-11 lead into the second quarter.
Unfortunately, an injury to Knights Goal Attack, Fiona Hale, forced a change in the shooting circle but it also gave an opportunity to youngster, Gabby Titley-Wilson to show what she could do. Gabby held her own brilliantly against a stubborn Sleaford Barge defence, enabling Knights to maintain their three-goal margin at half-time (24-21).
The break allowed Knights to make further changes. They rested some tired legs and gave further opportunities to the new and younger players to learn about this level of competitive netball. However, this also played into Sleaford Barge's hands. The opposition continued to use their very experienced players, which meant that Knights struggled at times to get the ball into the shooting circle during the third quarter. It all resulted in Sleaford Barge levelling the scores at the end of this period.
The last quarter was a very tough battle as both teams searched for any advantage. However, Sleaford Barge found it and won the game by just a single-goal margin. Knights knew that they had their chances to win the game but unfortunately Sleaford's greater number of interceptions in mid-court proved to be crucial.
Knights were so disappointed that they are already looking for revenge against Sleaford during the second round of Regional games next year!
Knights have a 'rest' next week as their game against Iceni is to be rearranged due to five of Knights' squad members running the Nottingham Robin Hood 1/2 marathon to raise money for St John's Hospice, a Sue Ryder charity. The ladies are running in memory of Knights centre Dani Gatt's sister, Chantelle, who sadly lost her battle with cancer four months ago.