Due to unforeseen circumstances, Loughborough-based Falcons Black only had a squad of 6 for their away game against Kent (31/03/13).
Even so, Falcons Black made a promising start against the home team. Their tactics were to slow the ball up for any of Kent’s centre passes and delay it getting to the circle edge, which proved very effective and allowed the team to match Kent goal for goal for most of the first quarter. In fact, it was just 4 turnovers from Kent which saw them take a slight advantage going into the first break, with a 12 - 8 lead.
Quarter time saw no changes from either side so Falcons Black’s aim was to continue to apply as much pressure as possible for the second quarter and especially focus on the centre court area to continue to slow the ball up and to create turnovers. Again, this tactic paid off. Kent felt under pressure and Falcons Black closed to within 2 goals of the home team. In fact on most occasions, when the away team turned over the ball they were quick to attack and create options through court. Sofija and Christie really started to work well with their rotation and triangle play, linking nicely with Jessica and Kaylea to open up the space. However with 9 minutes gone in the quarter the tables turned as Kent fought back, using their spare player around the circle to open up the space well, to regain control. The quarter ended 12-8 to Kent again, with the half time score, Kent 24-16 Falcons Black.
The third quarter saw Kent take the opportunity to bring on fresh legs and they started well, breaking the Falcons Black first centre pass. Falcons fought back though and through their constant pressure, created a lot of turnovers, hitting Kent quick and fast on the break. However, in trying to apply pressure, Falcons Black also made one or two errors on ball placement, which then gave the ball back to Kent, leaving the quarter score at Kent 12–7 Falcons Black and the match score at Kent 36-23 Falcons Black.
Kent made another change for the fourth quarter but this time Falcons Black made the better start, scoring the first 5 goals. The away team were creating space and all linking well through court to help and support each other. Sofija and Christie did some great linkage play in and around the circle to open up the space and they were shooting well too. Not surprisingly though with one less player, a couple of errors were made by Falcons, which allowed Kent to break away at pace and use their spare player. Both teams dug deep and maintained their own centre passes for the remainder of the quarter, going goal-for-goal until the end. This meant the away team couldn’t close the gap anymore and the match ended Kent 51-35 Falcons Black. (Quarter score: Kent 15-12 Falcons Black)
Kaylea McQuade was awarded the Player of the Match for doing the Centre (C) and Wing Defence (WD) role.
· Sofija Djokic (Goal Shooter),
· Christie Simpson (Goal Attack),
· Jessica Smith (Wing Attack),
· Kaylea McQuade (Centre), (Captain/Coach)
· Vacant (Wing Defence),
· Dominique McKee (Goal Defence), and
· Issy Beighton (Goal Keeper)
· Assistant Coach/Team Manager: Donna Swann
Thank you to Kent for their kind hospitality and a great game, it is much appreciated.