Lincoln City faced their toughest opposition on Sunday 2nd March as they took on league leaders Southgate. With a bare seven players, the Imps remained unchanged throughout as they fought to earn a half-score point against a team comprised of Netball Super League players and the former England Captain, Olivia Murphy.
Lincoln began the game in high spirits taking a surprising three-goal lead, thanks to superb shooting from Becky Baker and Anna Gilbert. Abby Johnson and Anna were also quick off the mark at centre passes and alongside Beth Richardson, fed excellent passes into Becky. Southgate however raised their game and took a 5 goal lead after the first fifteen minutes (15-20).
Grasshopper Netball Club faced Lincolnshire’s Barge and Bottle in the return game of the East Midlands Netball’s Regional League Division 2. Barge took the first centre pass and roared out of the blocks, playing some very dominating netball. Grasshoppers unfortunately stuttered a few times during the first period and were losing heavily 9 goals to 17 at the end of it.
At the break, Coach Anne Melling swapped Selina Jones and Laura Harbour over – from C to WA. The change helped Grasshoppers win both the second (10-9) and the third quarter (11-8). Unfortunately, Grasshoppers couldn’t keep their momentum in the final quarter. Barge’s Rosie James, who returned to the court as WA, inspired her team to a 9-17 fourth-quarter win.
The final score: Grasshoppers 39-52 Barge and Bottle.
It was a hard fought game – Barge’s shooters consistently used the split landing to good effect, whilst good up court linkage by Grasshopper’s centre court players enabled the attack of Donna Osborn and Beth Smith to capitalise.
Grasshoppers would like to thank Leicestershire-based nutrition brand “High5” for their support in keeping the team going.
Lincoln City went into last weekend’s game with two defeats hanging over their heads. Vic Adams was absent from the side so Jade Houlton returned to defence alongside Lucy Heathershaw as GD and Lizzie Saywell as WD.
The Imps worked hard throughout the court during the first quarter, defending solidly as a team from start to finish. They overturned possession in all areas of the court and managed to gain a six goal lead through Becky Baker’s excellent shooting. The first quarter score ended 15-9 in Lincoln’s favour.
Lincoln made a number of unforced errors during the second quarter, allowing Northants JMs to draw the quarter 10-10. However, this still meant the Imps were ahead 25-19 at half time.
Worcester again started the quarter the strongest, making it very difficult for Falcons to keep possession of the ball. Falcons also began making a number of errors, which Worcester capitalised on through their six-foot shooter. It was evident that height in the defence circle was a big concern for Falcons, who couldn’t deal with Worcester’s tall players. That said, some nice patches of attacking play and the odd tip from defensive duo Kathryn (GK) and Jemma (GD) helped Falcons stay in contention. However, the team also missed key shots which led to them eventually losing the quarter 18-6.
Falcons took the opportunity to change the team around. Gaby moved to GK to add height in the circle, whilst Kathryn moved to GD, Jemma to WD, Harriet to GA and Christie to GS. Falcons settled quickly and took control of the first 5 minutes of the quarter, racing to a 6-1 lead. This was by far the best quarter for Falcons – they looked structured, worked the ball through court well and kept it simple. Worcester picked up the pace for the last few minutes though and ended up winning the quarter 14-8.
Falcons made no changes for the final fifteen minutes. The team played well but could not make any inroads into Worcester’s lead. The final score ended: Worcester Reds 61-27 Falcons Black.
Congratulations to Harriet Gill who was awarded ‘Player of the Match’.
Grasshoppers knew that this game against second-in-the-league Lincoln would be difficult having lost by just a single-goal to third-placed Brigg during their previous match.
After the first quarter, Grasshoppers were ahead by one goal through some excellent shooting and tight defensive play. During the second quarter, Tracy Glover and Megs Palmer in particular worked tirelessly in defence to overcome some excellent play by Lincs’ GS, helping Grasshoppers increase their lead to 6 by half time.
Lincoln City made one change to the team that had defeated TFC Too in their last game – Beth Richardson making a strong return at Centre (C). However, the Imps conceded three goals before Becky Baker and Anna Gilbert began hitting the net. Lincoln pulled the score back in the end though to level the game at 10-10 after the first fifteen minutes.
Lincoln remained unchanged for the second period. They started strongly, making a number of interceptions in defence. Lizzie Saywell, Lucy Heathershaw and Vic Adams overturned possession on several occasions, allowing Lincoln to take a four-goal lead at half time: 20-16.
Nottingham Knights squad: Fiona Hale (GS), Clair Corlett (GA), Katie Cresswell (WA), Daniella Gatt (C), Samantha Carter (WD), Justine Drury (GD), Zoie Aiken (GK), Beth Moore (Sub), Karen Cresswell (Coach).
Nottingham Knights had had a successful first half of the season which saw them hold third position in the league table. They were determined not to let fourth-placed Bluetits steal their spot but Bluetits had beaten Nottingham Knights during their first encounter earlier on in the season.