Falcons Black welcomed a number of new faces to their 2013-2014 squad.
After being put through a really good warm up by team captain, Katie Flaherty, the team were ready to take to the court against Turnford.
Being the first game of the new season, it was unsurprising that both teams took a few minutes to settle. However, the quarter soon became very competitive as both teams put pressure on each other’s passes through their own respective heavy “man-to-man” marking.
Falcons Black were aiming to have two offers and one was going to be the straight line. Holding onto all of their own centre passes, Falcons Black’s players showed great patience when working the ball through the court to their shooters and they were able to take a one-goal lead into the second quarter through a great long shot from Goal Attack (GA), Olivia Mason.
Q1 Score: Falcons Black 8 – 7 Turnford
Turnford made a change to their Wing Attack (WA) for the second quarter, whilst Falcons Black retained their starting seven. Again, both teams started strongly. Falcons Black’s defence of Iman Thomas, Nicola Caunt and Dominique McKee worked tirelessly to dictate the goal third and turn the ball, whilst great linkage with the centre court players created opportunities to take the ball to the shooters. In attack, Olivia Mason dictated the goal circle and worked effectively on and off the ball to create the space. Mason shot 80% of the goals and most were from long range. However the tables turned slightly in the last few minutes of the quarter and Turnford ended up winning it 12-9, taking a two-goal lead overall.
Q2 Score: Falcons Black 17 – 19 Turnford
Both teams took the opportunity to bring on fresh legs for the third quarter. Turnford started quicker out of the blocks though and they intercepted Falcons Black’s centre pass and took it to goal. The away team further increased their pressure on every one of the Falcons Black players, which in turn forced the home team to make mistakes. It was clear that Falcons Black were being rushed and they struggled for options all the way through the court, ensuring Turnford took the quarter 13 goals to 6.
Q3 Score: Falcons Black 23 – 32 Turnford
With the game continuing to be played at a high tempo, both teams made a few more changes for the final fifteen minutes. The quarter began scrappily and the ball continued to change hands up and down the court. Falcons Black tried to get a grip on the game and get some control of the last quarter and their defence worked tirelessly to keep Turnford off the circle edge and force the lifted ball. Centre (C) Francesca Desmond made some great interceptions and linked well with the attacking unit, varying the pace when needed. Meanwhile Mason’s work rate on and off the ball continued to be excellent, and her shooting was 86% in this quarter, which was an impressive statistic. Falcons Black’s Goal Shooter was also creating space in and out of the circle, linking very well with Mason. Falcons Black worked very hard to close the gap but a few mistakes saw Turnford take control of the next patch and they won the quarter 11 goals to 6.
Final score: Falcons Black 29 – 43 Turnford.
Considering this was the first game of the new season and Falcons Black now has a squad with over seven new players, there were a lot of positives to take from the game. Therefore, all-in-all, lots of things to be encouraged about for the home team as they look to build on this performance.
Player of the match went to Olivia Mason (GA) for her outstanding performance.