Three shooters down before the match had begun, Lincoln City found their usually long and versatile team bench severely depleted. Captain and regular WA Laura Forsey stepped up, ready to return to her former shooting glory alongside usual GS Anna Gilbert.
Just as it seemed as though Lincoln had found their feet and extending their lead, a second injury of the day occurred, taking Jade Houlton from the court and leaving Lincoln to finish up the first quarter with just 6 players. Lincoln rallied though, not least because of the impressive defence of Lucy Heathershaw and Lizzie Saywell and the support of Beth Richardson and Victoria Adams. With the team pulling together, quarter finished with the Imps narrowly leading, 13-12.
The second quarter was also plagued with injuries – this time to the Sleaford Barge team. This misfortune allowed the Imps to further pull away. Lincoln's defence remained solid with numerous interceptions and some fantastic pressure and Abby Johnson and Beth took the ball through court seamlessly to Anna (now at GA) and Jade (returning to the court at GS) who converted time after time. The half time score was 25-15.
The Imps pushed on following the half time break, maintaining consistency throughout the court and proving to be very solid defensively. Yet another injury to Lincoln occurred but this time a switch of position was sufficient to allow Victoria to cope. She dropped back whilst Lizzie took the WD bib for the rest of the quarter. The team adapted well to the change; Anna and Jade were particularly impressive and developed an effective partnership in the shooting circle, which resulted in the lead being stretched to 14 at the end of the third quarter.
Clean, clinical netball helped the Imps continue to pull away in the final quarter. Some impressive interceptions from Lizzie and Lucy gave more opportunities for the shooters to put the ball in the net, which they duly did. Excellence from every individual on the court resulted in a fantastic final score of 51-30 when the final whistle blew. Ultimately, though, there was one player who managed to make a real difference. Jade stepped up and has proved herself to be a real presence at both ends of the court, and her fantastic shooting made a huge difference to an all-round fantastic win – a well-deserved player's player.