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).
In the second quarter the Imps' defence raised their game. They made numerous tips and interceptions, forcing their opposition to make unforced errors. Lizzie Saywell and Lucy Heathershaw also helped to bring the ball up to the attacking third to take the pressure off Lincoln’s attack. This helped Lincoln win the quarter by a single goal (overall score: Lincoln City 28-32 Southgate)
The Imps struggled in the third quarter conceding more goals than they scored. Southgate also made a substitution which tightened their defence and began forcing Lincoln into making errors. The quarter finished with the overall scores 36-49 in Southgate’s favour.
During the last period Lincoln overturned possession on numerous occasions. Jade Houlton made a flying interception as the defence fought hard to win the final quarter. The final score of 49-60 meant that Lincoln were the only side to gain half score points from both games against the table leaders. The Imps have one more match this season, but due to injuries and absences, they should finish third and head to the Regional League 1 playoffs in April.
After an outstanding performance from Lincoln, Becky Baker was voted best player by Southgate. She was strong in attack, held space well and put some exceptional shots up. Lizzie Saywell was voted best player by Lincoln. She supported the attack well, made good drives onto the ball and turned over possession on the edge of the "D".