With the playoffs inevitable, Lincoln 2 decided to change it up for their match against Notts Knights. Defender Lizzie Saywell was out through injury and a recent call up for Vic Adams meant Jade Houlton was joined by Megan Samways in defence. Lincoln began the first quarter well with goals from Vicky Bayes and Laura Forsey, but the Knights soon stormed ahead, taking a 13 goal advantage as the quarter ended 7-20.
Lincoln made changes in the second quarter with defender Jade moving to goal shooter. 16 year old Carla Baker came on at goal keeper and Megan moved to goal defence. However the Knights again proved to be too strong and took a 12-37 lead into half-time.
In the third quarter, attacker Vicky moved to goal defence alongside young Carla. Lincoln’s feeds into the attacking circle were stronger and became more frequent as Zoe Cooper moved to wing attack after a good half at centre. Her passes into Jade at shooter were perfectly timed as Lincoln’s best quarter finished 11-19. The score moving into the fourth quarter was 23-56.
For the final 15 minutes, Beth Sullivan moved to goal keeper where, despite her lack of height, she worked hard in defence and supported well when attacking. After a terrific Knights performance, Lincoln were fortunate to gain a point from the game, the final score finished 34-68 to Knights.
Woman of the match was awarded to Zoe Cooper for her good hussle at centre and a strong performance at wing attack. Her accurate and well-timed feeds into the shooting circle were particularly effective.
Charnwood Sapphires went into Sunday's East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 fixture against top of the table, Falcons Yellow, knowing that only a win would guarantee them a playoff spot.
Charnwood Sapphire got off to a nervous start, quickly going 3 goals behind but they soon settled down and turned the score around, taking a 13-10 lead into the first quarter break.
Sapphires continued to pile on the pressure in the second quarter and with accurate shooting from Lisa Griffiths (Goal Shooter, GS) and Sam Griffin (Goal Attack, GA) they increased their lead to 28-22.
Falcons Yellow secured their return to Regional League Division 1 after a resounding win over Grasshopper.
The starting line up was Nina Warren (Goal Shooter, GS), Weller Howard (Goal Attack, GA), Laura Owen (Wing Attack, WA), Melanie Brenan (Centre, C), Samantha Brown (Wing Defence, WD), Liz Stephenson (Goal Defence, GD), Beth Jackson (Goal Keeper, GK) with Rebecca Sims, Lynsey Cover and Sarah Bottomley on the bench.
Falcons Yellow got off to a flying start and maintained their lead throughout going into the half time break 34-14 ahead.
Changes at half time saw three straight swaps; with Cover coming on at Wing Defence (WD) to replace Brown, Sims coming on at Wing Attack (WA) for Owen and Bottomley coming on at Goal Shooter (GS) to replace Warren who moved out to Goal Attack (GA) replacing Howard. Grasshopper came out fighting in the third quarter but the sterling Falcons Yellow defence meant that it was not quite enough for Grasshopper to gain ground and close the gap.
The final quarter saw further changes for the Derbyshire-based team with Brown coming on to replace Stephenson at Goal Defence (GD), Owen replaced Brenan at Centre (C) and a swap round in the shooting circle saw Warren at Goal Shooter (GS) and Bottomley moved out to Goal Attack (GA).
Grasshoppers Netball Club took on Sleaford Barge in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 this weekend. Whilst Grasshoppers made a sluggish start to the match, Sleaford came sprinting out of the traps and with some slick passing and accurate shooting to take an 18-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Sleaford’s solid, springy defence made things difficult for the Grasshopper’s attack.
Coach Anne Melling changed the team around after the first quarter, replacing Karmen Askew at Wing Attack (WA) with Claire Fielding and bringing on Tracy Glover at Goal Keeper (GK) – who was making her first appearance for Grasshoppers for several weeks. This improved things somewhat and Grasshoppers started to mount a fight back but Sleaford were still dominant and eventually won the second quarter by 15 goals to 9. The half time score was 17-33.
After the disappointment of losing the first two matches of 2013, Falcons Yellow were looking to stem the tide and get back to winning ways against Lincoln City 2.
With the frustration of losing the second match of the New Year to Nottingham Knights still fresh in their minds, Falcons Yellow came out all guns blazing and were determined to enforce a convincing win over Lincoln City 2.
The first quarter was a tight affair with Lincoln 2 taking the match to Falcons Yellow, testing their resolve. However the Derby-based team dug deep and came out on top at the end of the first quarter (16-10).
It was a first-time outing for the shooting duo of Nina Warren (Goal Shooter, GS) and Weller Howard and it proved to be a winning combination with both players taking their chances on goal, converting with accuracy. Falcons Yellow started to settle into their stride and began to stamp their authority on the game up and down the court, playing with the confidence and fluidity that had been lacking in the previous two matches.
This week, Grasshopper Netball Club came up against East Midlands Netball Regional League Division Two rivals Brigg and District Netball Club. The first quarter began with both teams scoring consistently from their centre passes, but a Brigg and District turnover from a Grasshopper’s centre allowed them to sneak ahead and take the first quarter 11-15.
Coach Anne Melling made some changes in the second quarter; Beth Smith came on as Goal Shooter (GS), Karmen Askew came on as Wing Attack (WA), Laura Harbour moved from Goal Defence (GD) to Wing Defence (WD), Stephanie Hiom moved from Goal Keeper (GK) to Goal Defence (GD) and Kate Garner came on as Goal Keeper (GK), with Andy Flewitt, Clare Fielding and Sarah Melling leaving the court. As a result, Grasshopper had a superb second quarter, with Garner and Hiom combining well in defence, and the whole team turning over a couple of Brigg and District centres to take the lead. Grasshopper took the second quarter 15-10. Having completed the comeback, they now led 26-25!
The same line up took to the court for the third quarter as Grasshopper maintained their dominance, winning the third by 11 goals to 9. The scores sat at a close 37-34 moving into the final quarter.
At the break, coach Melling made further changes, bringing off Garner and moving Hiom to Goal Keeper (GK), moving Harbour across to Goal Defence (GD), and bringing back Melling at Wing Defence (WD). Unfortunately though, it was not enough to sustain the Grasshopper ascendancy and Brigg and District began to take a strong lead in the final quarter. Grasshopper started to mount yet another last gasp comeback, but time was against them and they lost the quarter 14-19. The final score finished 51-53 to Brigg and District. In spite of losing in the nail biting finale, it was by far Grasshopper’s best match of the season. Player of the match was awarded to Goal Attack (GA) Donna Osborn.
Sunday saw the return leg of Leicestershire’s Grasshopper NC (GNC) versus Lincoln City 2 (the Imps). GNC fielded a strong team and some good interactive play between Centre (C) Selina Jones and Wing Attack (WA) Karmen Askew saw them hold Lincoln City 2 until the final minutes of the first quarter, where the Imps crept into a 10-13 lead.
Grasshopper NC’s coach, Anne Melling, made three changes for the second quarter, bringing on Claire Fielding, Kate Garner and newcomer Laura Barby for Karmen Askew, Steph Hiom and young Goal Shooter (GS), Beth Smith. A tightly-fought quarter ensued with GNC coming out 8-6 on top, bringing the score back to 18-19 in Imps’ favour.
At the end of the third quarter, the Lincolnshire team led – but only by 2 goals at 26-28.
The final quarter saw a very spirited effort from Grasshopper NC. The team had trailed throughout the match so far but they never gave up. Some good, hard netball was played by all and it was end to end drama. However, a couple of late goals by the Leicestershire team in the final throes of the match saw Grasshopper NC claim a well-deserved draw, with the score at 39-39.
Grasshopper NC’s Player of the Match went to Centre (C) Selina Jones.
FALCONS YELLOWS LOSE THEIR FIRST MATCH OF 2013 TO SLEAFORD BARGE IN REGIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION II MATCH
Falcons Yellow entered 2013 having not lost a match in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division II and were hoping to start 2013 with a celebratory win. On paper, Falcons Yellow would have been expected to take control of this match, especially after winning the last meeting between the two teams earlier in the season.
Falcons Yellow put out a reasonably strong and experienced side against a young Sleaford Barge team and the Derbyshire-based club started the game in fine form, turning over Sleaford Barge’s first centre pass. Unfortunately for Falcons Yellow, the team failed to convert their chance and this allowed Sleaford Barge to settle and take an early lead. The Lincolnshire team’s shooting was accurate and this soon left Falcons Yellow 3 goals down. Falcons Yellow then rolled their sleeves up and pulled the deficit back to one goal but unfortunately they couldn’t capitalise on any further turnovers during the quarter because of a solid Sleaford Barge defence. Falcons Yellow’s defence were also on the top of their game but this didn’t stop Sleaford Barge increasing their lead, edging their noses in front 6-10 after the first fifteen minutes.
The second quarter was a different affair. Falcons Yellow made some changes in attack with Rebecca Sims coming on at Wing Attack (WA) and Weller Howard replacing Sarah Bottomley at Goal Attack (GA). Even though it was a new combination the shooters settled well and gave Sleaford Barge something to think about. Falcons Yellow’s defence was again solid at the back with Samantha Brown (Goal Defence, GD), Lynsey Cover (Wing Defence, WD) and Liz Stevenson (Goal Keeper, GK) unsettling the Sleaford attack. This time Falcon Yellow’s turnovers resulted in goals for the team, which were no doubt aided by some great attacking play and feeds into the shooters by Rebecca Sims (Wing Attack, WA) and Laura Owen (Centre, C). Howard and Rolling worked well together too and converted their shots with ease. Falcons Yellow won the quarter 12-8 and went into the half time break with the overall scores even at 18-18. However, they still felt that the score line did not reflect all of the hard work they had put in.
The team made another change for the third quarter by replacing Owen with Melanie Brenan at Centre (C). Falcons Yellow tried in vain to improve on their second quarter performance but were thwarted by Sleaford Barge, who were pressing hard. Both sides made unforced errors but in the end, the Lincolnshire team converted enough of their chances to win the quarter 6-7 and go into the final fifteen minutes with their noses in front once again, leading 24-25 overall.
The final quarter saw Bottomley come on at Goal Shooter (GS) to replace Rolling. Once again it was a tight affair with Falcons Yellow pushing Sleaford Barge all the way. Falcons Yellow’s attack worked hard throughout but the team were still unable to convert their chances and this allowed Sleaford Barge to increase their advantage to 4 goals. It could have been more had it not been for Falcons Yellow’s defence which was outstanding, especially Stevenson’s and Cover’s performances.
Falcons Yellow refused to give up and managed to close the gap to within one goal, however, they just could not get over the finishing line and in the end lost out to a disciplined Sleaford Barge team who widened the overall score line to two goals by winning the quarter 7-8.
The final score was Falcons Yellow 31 – Sleaford Barge 33.
Weller Howard had a great game, as did Melanie Brenan who worked very hard and produced some wonderful feeds throughout the second half but in the end the accolades have to go to Stevenson and Cover who jointly received the ‘Player of the Match’.
Falcons Yellow will still retain top spot but now they have dusted off the cobwebs they will have to work hard and remain focused next week and be ready to do battle in what will be another tough match.
Squad – Charlotte Rolling (GS), Sarah Bottomley (GA/GS), Weller Howard (WA/GA), Laura Owen (C), Lynsey Cover (WD), Samantha Brown (GD), Liz Stevenson (GK), Subs -Melanie Brenan (C), Rebecca Sims (WA).
Carla Baker started her first game for Lincoln City 2 (the Imps) at Wing Defence (WD) in this week’s East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 game against local rivals, Brigg and District.
The Imps started strongly with Lizzie Saywell winning the Imps’ first duel of the match when she produced a fine interception early on. This was followed by a great interception by Zoe Cooper on the edge of the attacking ‘D’ shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, Lincoln 2’s drives towards the ball were too flat though, meaning they gave away possession on several occasions. This created opportunities for Brigg and District to successfully counter and Lincoln 2’s heads began to drop. The quarter finished with Brigg and District, 11-14 to the good.
The second quarter saw some positional changes to the Lincoln 2 team. Megan Samways moved to Wing Defence (WD), Zoe Cooper to Centre (C) and Beth Sullivan to Wing Attack (WA). However, this didn’t stop Brigg and District starting the stronger of the two teams. Two fantastic interceptions midway through the quarter appeared to lift the Imps though. Brigg and District’s defence began to be pulled up for penalties as Lincoln pressed forward, whilst at the back Lizzie Saywell and Jade Houlton continued to work hard and makeeven more important interceptions. In a tight quarter Lincoln 2 were just edged out by just 3 goals. They trailed 20-26 at half time.
The Imps began the third quarter well, scoring three goals in quick succession but the team’s performance began to dip and Brigg and District’s shooting was merciless. The Imps soon sank to a 9-goal deficit and it could have been more but for Lizzie Saywell, who was continuing to impress at Goal Keeper (GK), making yet more interceptions. An injury to Vicky Bayes then forced Lincoln City 2 to make some changes with Carla Baker coming back on at Wing Defence (WD). Megan Samways then made two brilliant interceptions but it was not enough for the Imps to close the gap. The score at the end of the third quarter was 27-37.
In the final quarter, Lincoln City 2 applied great pressure, making numerous interceptions with Jade Houlton alone making three tips in a row as she fought to gain back possession of the ball. Driven on by the support from the bench the Imps gave it everything but unfortunately just couldn’t capitalise on the openings and turnovers they’d created.
The final score was Lincoln City 2 (The Imps) 38-50 Brigg and District.
For the third week running, Jade Houlton was voted ‘Player of the Match’ by the opposition. Meanwhile, Lizzie Saywell received ‘Best Player’ from the supporters on the bench for her numerous interceptions.
This week saw the return fixture of Nottingham Knights against Sleaford Barge in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 (02/12/12). The game had all the signs of an enthralling counter and had been eagerly anticipated since Sleaford Barge’s victory by a solitary goal in their previous September clash.
The game started with both sides matching each other goal-for-goal. However, as the first quarter drew to a close, Nottingham Knights began to take control. Their strong defensive pressure and accurate shooting helped them take a 17-11 lead into the first break.
Knights came out 'all guns blazing' in the second quarter, turning over ball in Barges' attacking third and effortlessly working the ball down to their shooters. Despite tight defending from Barges' circle defenders, patience and accurate feeds allowed Knights’ shooters to convert. Time was called by Barge towards the end of the second quarter and resulted in a substitution. The break in play wasn't enough to unsettle Knights though and the second quarter ended with the team leading 31-21.
The third quarter score matched that of the first (17-11), which meant that Knights took a strong, 16-goal lead into the final fifteenminutes (48-32).
The fourth quarter was the closest of the game with Sleaford Barge working hard to close the gap. However it wasn't enough. Consistent play and precise shooting saw Nottingham Knights take the game 64-45.
All in all, four consistent quarters from Nottingham Knights resulted in an impressive score line, compared to the tight first fixture.
Sleaford Barge voted Nottingham Knights’ Fiona Hale (Goal Attack, GA) as their Player of the Match.
Nottingham Knights team: Katy Mee (Goal Keeper, GK); Justine Drury (Goal Defence, GD); Samantha Carter (Wing Defence, WD); Daniella Gatt (Centre, C); Sophie Reed (Wing Attack, WA); Fiona Hale (Goal Attack, GA); Sophie Artley (Goal Shooter, GS).