Bluetits missed out in their latest game in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 against Hinckley Hurricanes (30/09/12). After the first quarter Bluetits were 2 goals down with Hinckley leading 13-11 and this lead was extended after the second quarter to 24-18. Bluetits continued to fight after half time with some excellent interceptions from their defence and superb movement and shooting from their attack. Bluetits’ defenders in particular rose up to the challenge and as the game went on, produced more and more interceptions against Hinckley Hurricanes’ extremely tall attackers. The Player of the match was Hannah Sambrook, who in the last quarter and with Hinckley leading 37-26, gave some strong balls into the shooting circle and created more opportunities for Bluetits to shoot. Her versatility was a key asset to the game as was her strength in both Wing Defence and Wing Attack. The final score was Hinckley 49 - 35 Bluetits.
Due to illness and unavailability, Falcons Yellow took to the court in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 game at Loughborough University’s Netball Centre this week (30/09/12) with a squad of just seven players.
The team was pitched against young and agile Sleaford Barge players from Lincolnshire, who were no pushover and took the game to the Falcons Yellow seven.
The match got off to an intense start, which set the tone for the remainder of the game. Initially Sleaford Barge nosed in front by two goals but this only seemed to fire Falcons Yellow up, who ended the first quarter five goals to the good at 15 -10.
The second quarter saw a tightly contested game with Sleaford Barge pushing Falcons Yellow all the way to close the gap. However, Falcons Yellow kept their cool in the shooting circle to win the quarter 12-10 and take a 27-20 advantage into the second half.
Unlike Falcons Yellow, Sleaford could call on players from their bench to provide fresh legs for the start of the third quarter and this is exactly what they did. The only switching Falcons Yellow could manage was a tactical one where Sarah Bottomley and Nina Warren swapped their shooting positions. It also meant that Falcons Yellow’s defensive line, which was new for this match, remained unchanged. However, by the way the Falcons Yellow ladies played in the third quarter, it would have appeared as though the team had played in their respective positions since the beginning of the season. Although the Sleaford attack was shooting well, Falcons Yellow worked hard and kept the pressure on, meaning their took the third quarter 15-14 and went into the last quarter 42 -34 ahead.
The final quarter saw Sleaford come out fighting again and really tested Falcons Yellow to their limit. Understandably, Falcons Yellow’s legs were tiring to the point where the score was an extremely tight 45-44 in Falcons Yellow’s favour. Sleaford Barge created a couple of good opportunities to draw level and even get their noses in front with only a few minutes left but luckily for Falcons Yellow, both Tamsin Mason and Samantha Brown made some crucial and timely interceptions to keep their side ahead. The attacking combination of Laura Owen (C) and Weller Howard (WA) also kept their cool during the remaining minutes and used the ball well to give Falcon Yellows’ two shooters the chances they needed to convert the all-important goals and give Falcons some breathing space. Under extreme pressure from a very good Sleaford defence, Falcons scored enough goals to hold onto their lead, coming out eventual winners, with a score 53-48.
This was a compelling match that could have gone either way in the end but it was not necessarily easy-viewing for either side’s bench. Even though Falcons Yellow came out on top, probably the biggest winner was the Regional League Division 2 itself as level of play from both teams was outstanding.
Once again the trio in defence receive players of the match.
Team – Sarah Bottomley (GS), Nina Warren (GA), Weller Howard (WA), Laura Owen (C), Rebecca Simms (WD), Samantha Brown (GD), Tamsin Mason (GK).
After a week off, the Falcons Black squad travelled to Birmingham at the weekend for their first away game in this season’s Premier League Division 2 (30/09/12). Both Coach Kaylea McQuade and Captain Katie Flaherty were unavailable for the trip so it was the Manager’s turn to take charge of the team with Dominique McKee (Wing Defence) stepping in as captain.
The game started disappointingly for Falcons Black as they struggled to get their attack going, especially with their final passes into the circle. Contrasting that, Linden’s attack had settled much quicker and the opposition had soon scored six unanswered goals. However, as the quarter wore on, the Falcons Black ladies found their feet and with it some flow to their game. They began to match Linden almost goal-for-goal but still needed to chase down Linden’s early advantage.
At quarter time the attack was shuffled about in an attempt to increase the tempo of the game to suit Falcons Black’s style of play. Simpson replaced Hancock at Goal Attack (GA), who herself moved into the Goal Shooter (GS) position. However, the ladies struggled to continue the fine form they had ended the first quarter with. Falcons Black’s defence worked hard to turn over balls but the chances they created to close the score line were not always successfully taken at the other end of the court. Too often, there were misplaced passes or the ball travelled off the back line. It all meant that Linden had increased their lead by half time.
The half time break gave the ladies an opportunity to regroup and refocus on what had become a 14-goal game to them. Muldrigg replaced Djokic at Wing Attack (WA), which appeared to give the team the impetus they needed. Falcons Black made some fast-paced breaks from their line, which culminated in more opportunities in the circle. It meant the third quarter was much more tightly contested with Falcons Black scoring their most goals during this period.
As the team went into the last quarter, more changes were made with Falcons Black’s Smith coming into centre (C). The fresh legs helped her team to continue to attack at pace but it was clear that Linden still remained the stronger side. They continued to put Falcons Black’s defence of McKee, Steadman and Beighton under pressure, although the three tirelessly challenged for the ball throughout.
When the whistle blew for full time, Linden’s winning margin had increased to 19 goals, with the final score being 47-28. The Falcons Black players came off the court obviously disappointed, knowing that they had a number of things to work on in training.
Starting Lineup: Goal Shooter Charlotte Roye, Goal Attack Helen Hancock, Wing Attack Sofija Djokic, Centre Eleanor Durcan, Wing Defence Dominique McKee (c), Goal Defence Lauren Steadman, Goal Keeper Issy Beighton
Pennine faced last year’s East Midlands Regional League Division 1 winners, TFC, today (30/9/12). Having only a squad of eight due to a last-minute illness, it was a real worry when Pennine’s Elisha Cooper injured her ankle within the first two minutes of the game. However, Pennine’s promising start to the game continued up to half time, where they only trailed by two goals (16 – 18).
The injury to Elisha Cooper drastically reduced the options available to the team when they needed to make changes later on in the game though. However, Emma Warren was very strong in Pennine’s defence and helped bring the ball through to the attack, which eased a lot of the pressure.
This week it was the turn of Tyler Bexton to really excel in the shooting circle, with 100% accuracy in the first half, and 78% overall. In the end though, it was just not meant to be for Pennine this week. They struggled to keep their fine momentum from the first two quarters going after the half time break, finally losing 22 - 38.
On the positive side, Pennine are showing that they have the ability to hold their own in the highest division of the East Midlands Netball Regional League but they are still looking for that first win.
The first quarter saw Grasshopper Netball Club coming straight out of the blocks. They moved into a storming lead by applying some excellent mid-court pressure on Lincoln City 2, whilst Kate Garner and Laura Harbour were working well together in defence. There was also some excellent shooting and interplay by Beth Smith and Donna Osborn, which meant that Grasshoppers led 11-6 at the end of the quarter.
Grasshoppers didn’t capitalise on their excellent start during the second quarter though. Their usual great passing into the attacking circle was being increasingly intercepted by a Lincoln City 2 defence, which was beginning to find its feet. Importantly these interceptions were being converted by Lincoln City 2 as well, meaning the scores were tied 19-19 at half time.
Grasshopper Netball Club’s Coach, Anne Melling made some changes at half time, taking off Goal Shooter, Beth Smith and bringing on Andy Flewitt. Wing Attack, Karmen Askew was also swapped for Claire Fielding. It was ‘honours even’ in the third quarter, however, with some closely contested court play and shots that followed in, from end to end. The score at the end of this quarter was 26-26. What a cliff-hanger!
Coach Melling made some more changes for the final quarter, which saw Grasshoppers revert back to its starting seven. However, they’d just run out of steam. Lincoln City 2 stepped up yet another gear, winning the game with a final score of 29-42. Grasshopper Netball Club’s player of the match was Goal Defence, Laura Harbour.
For further details about the Grasshopper Netball Club, please check out the website: www.grasshoppernetballclub.co.uk
Northants JMs’ third match of the 2012-2013 East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 season was against Nottinghamshire’s Leapoole (30/09/12).
JMs knew this was going to be a tough match from the very beginning with the first half of the first quarter going goal-for-goal. In particular, some extremely well-thought-out creative play by Sarah Mitchell demonstrated to the opposition exactly what they were up against. However, a few wayward passes from the team also meant that Leapoole had a five goal advantage at the end of the first period, with 10-15 score line.
Player changes were made in the next quarter with Stacey Poole coming on at Wing Defence and Lou Tunnicliff moving to Goal Defence. This helped Northants JMs gain greater control of the game for a little while but it was not long before Leapoole got their rhythm back on track and started to move further ahead. Unfortunately for JMs, a defensive player was also suspended for two goals during this period, which gave Leapoole even more momentum. It affected JMs’ flow within the team as well, culminating in a half time score of 20-34 in Leapoole’s favour.
Northants JMs made more changes in the third quarter, with Elisa Hayden taking to the court at Goal Keeper, Poole moving to Wing Attack and Harriet Frost moving to Wing Defence. The changes gave JMs the necessary impetus for a while but Leapoole soon adjusted and their fast, attacking movement meant that they began to move the ball around the JMs players at pace. The third quarter ended with a 29-50 scoreline.
The last quarter brought with it an injury to Fay Anderson, and positional changes had to be made for Northants JMs. Chantee Leweis came on at Goal Keeper, Hayden moved to Goal Defence, Tunnicliff moved to Wing Defence and Frost moved to Centre. As the game wore on, tiredness started to play its part and affected JMs’ performance. However, a respectful full time score of 35-64 gave Northants JMs one point for scoring more than half of the score against them.
Congratulations go to Sarah Mitchell for her performance and attaining Player of the Match.
Nottingham’s Leapoole took on Northamptonshire’s Northants JMs today (30/09/12) in the East Midlands Netball Regional League, Division 1.
Today’s game started slowly and it looked like being a goal-for-goal quarter. However, Leapoole’s centre court managed to turn over a couple of centre passes to win the first quarter, 14-10.
In the second quarter, Leapoole came out fighting for the win, with Sarah Thomas and Cat Holding (Player of the Match) carrying on where they had both left off in the first quarter. They fed quick accurate passes into Goal Attack, Jo Hale and Goal Shooter, Rebecca Taylor, which enabled Leapoole to score twice as many goals as the Northants JMs’ opposition. Northants JMs also had a player suspended for two goals during this period, which helped Leapoole further capitalise on their opportunities. At the end of the second quarter, Leapoole led 34-20.
The third quarter saw Leapoole’s Wing Defence, Leonie Smikle, Goal Defence, Kat Lewis and Goal Keeper, Kate Fairhurst, restrict Northants JMs’ attack to just nine goals, while Leapoole’s attack replied with seventeen. They finished the third quarter 51-29 ahead.
Player of the Match, Cat Holding, was rested in the final quarter but her teammates continued to stay strong and organised, which enabled them to increase their lead. Leapoole eventually won the game 64-35. Overally, a great performance by Leapoole Storm.
Lincoln City 2 were awarded their first win of the season against Grasshoppers on Sunday (30/09/12).
The first quarter started slowly as a new Lincoln City 2 line up found their feet. Amy Womersley came into the team at Goal Keeper alongside Jade Houlton, whilst Lizzie Saywell started at Wing Defence.
There were many turnovers during the first 15 minutes, which meant that Lincoln City 2 were unable to capitalise on some of the opportunities they had created. It also meant that Grasshoppers were leading 11-6 at the end of the first period.
Lincoln City 2’s coach, Pam Sturton made some changes for the second quarter, which saw Lizzie move to Goal Keeper and Beth Sullivan to Wing Defence. Amy moved into her natural position at Goal Attack with Charlotte Bayes making a confident appearance as Wing Attack, where she made a fantastic two handed interception in the centre court, as well as provided great feeds into attack. Lincoln City 2 won this quarter 13-8, levelling the score at 19-19.
The third quarter saw Grasshoppers’ marking become a little tighter, which limited Lincoln City 2’s chances. Both teams scored seven goals each during this period though, finishing 26-26.
With the scores tied, Lincoln City 2 went ‘all out’ in the final quarter as Laura Forsey moved to Centre, allowing Zoe Cooper to take a little breather at Wing Defence. Vicky Bayes returned at Goal Attack alongside Amy as Goal Shooter, meaning that a combination of strength and height were on court for any rebounds, which had to be made. Even so, Lincoln City 2 had to fight hard to secure their first win of the season. Lizzie made some great interceptions in defence against a tall Grasshoppers Goal Shooter and Zoe was fantastic as she turned over two of Grasshoppers’ centres in a row.
The combined team effort ensured that Lincoln City 2 won the final quarter by 18 goals to 3, taking the overall score to 29-42 in Lincoln City 2’s favour.
Player of the Match went to Charlotte Bayes for her feeds into attack, re-offering for the ball and that unforgettable two-handed interception in centre court.
Lincoln City 1 went into Sunday’s game hoping to get the most out of Laura Bartle’s fine start to the season in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 game against Nottingham City. Laura has been voted the best player by her team for two weeks running but unfortunately Lincoln City 1 were unable to capitalise on her efforts, losing by 8 goals to local rivals, Nottingham City.
Lincoln City 1 began with a similar line up to their previous week’s game (with the exception of Emily Coulter, who is now a student at Cambridge). Gemma Carter moved to centre, allowing Katherine Sturton to regain her spot at Wing Attack. It was a tense 15 minutes in the first quarter, with many tips and interceptions made by the defence of Laura and Lucy Heathershaw, resulting in a 7-7 score line.
However, the second quarter was the key turning point in the match. Lincoln City 1 did not convert all of their shooting opportunities, which left them trailing by a six-goal deficit at half time. The quarter ended 20-14 to Nottingham City.
The third quarter saw Lincoln City 1’s fight-back as they won the quarter 11-10. Amy Womersley came on as Goal Shooter and provided an alternative outlet in the attacking third. The quarter ended with Nottingham City leading 30-25, meaning Lincoln City 1 needed just five more goals to equalise.
In the fourth and final quarter, Lincoln City 1 switched Beth Richardson and Laura to Goal Defence and Wing Defence, respectively. The team took an early two-goal lead in an attempt to chase down that five-goal deficit but in the end were unable to take the quarter, losing it 8-11.
The final score ended Nottingham City 41-33 Lincoln City 1.
Player of the Match once again went to Laura Bartle. Laura’s great ability to read the game well meant that she made vital tips and interceptions throughout the match.
Hinckley Hurricanes' Regional netball team continued their winning streak on Sunday (30/09/12) against their old nemesis, Leicestershire’s Bluetits. This game always promises to be a well-fought encounter and it did not disappoint.
Bluetits started well, netting the first few goals. However, Hurricanes soon found their stride and mounted their own reply. At the end of the first quarter, the game was pitched at 13 - 11 to Hurricanes, with Bluetits searching to close the gap before half time. However, despite some unforced errors, Hurricanes held their nerve and managed to stretch their lead as each quarter went by.
Going into the fourth quarter, Hinckley Hurricanes held a 37 - 26 lead. Bluetits mounted a strong comeback and unsettled Hurricanes’ nerves but the team managed to pull together and increase their winning margin to a 49-35 victory.
Hurricanes voted the Goal Keeper, Louise Champion as their ‘Player of the Match’, although the votes were close, which was not surprising, given the superb centre court displays from Karen Lowdon, Charlotte Taylor and Katie Pallett.
Onto the next game: Sunday 7th October, 09.30 vs. Leapoole Netball Club at Loughborough University’s Netball Centre.