Nottingham Knights played their latest East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 game on 10th November 2013 against Nottingham rivals, Leapoole. Nottingham Knights had a change in their defence from their last outing, with Carter dropping back into the defensive circle, joining Aiken at GK, Thompson starting at WD and Corlett pairing up at GA and Hale in the attacking circle. Gatt and Cresswell completed the line up at C and WA, respectively.
Both teams settled into the game well; the Leapoole attack quickly got their eye in and the Knights defence found it difficult to intercept the loopy pass into the GS, who was holding space on the back line. This allowed Leapoole to take a narrow lead and finish the quarter 16-13 ahead. The Knights continued to attack well in the second quarter but were unable to make many turnovers allowing Leapoole to continue to extend their lead. Going into half time, Leapoole held a 9-point lead and it looked as though the game was slipping away from the Knights.
After the break, the Knights attack built upon their solid start and put up some impressive shots from the circle edge, whilst at the opposite end of the court, the Knights GK was repeatedly pulled up for ‘contact’ against Leapoole’s GS, which resulted in two formal warnings. In fact, Knights GK was eventually sent off for a three-goal period, five minutes before the end of the quarter. Leapoole capitalised on this opportunity and scored three consecutive goals while the Nottingham Knights reeled in shock. However, this decision provided the spark the Knights needed to fight back and the Knights lost the quarter by just one point (17-16), bringing the score to 51-41 in Leapoole’s favour.
The Knights started the final quarter determined to make up for the deficit caused by the sending off and by playing steady, safe netball to reduce the 10-goal difference. The defence changed tactics and doubled on the GS, interrupting Leapoole’s feeding into the circle and forcing the GA to put up more shots. Substitute Moore also provided fresh legs at WD, supporting the invigorated defence and the Knights turned over two Leapoole centres in a row, scoring four goals back-to-back. Meanwhile Hale and Corlett were on fire in attack, putting up shot after shot and both attackers had shooting stats of over 80%. As the final minute approached the Knights scored from their own centre to take the lead by one goal. Leapoole were on the attack though. The ball was fed into the circle and both Aiken and the Leapoole GS, Taylor went for the ball. This time, the whistle was blown for contact against Leapoole’s GS, giving the Knights a key penalty pass, which they converted into a goal and a subsequent victorious 59-61 result.
The score left the Knights in second position in the league table. GS Hale was once again voted Player of the Match. The Knights face top of the league Nottingham City in their next fixture.