Nottingham Knights starting line-up: Sophie Artley (GS), Fiona Hale (GA), Katie Cresswell (WA), Daniella Gatt (C), Samantha Carter (WD), Justine Drury (GD), Zoie Aiken (GK).
Nottingham Knights played Loughborough-based Charnwood Sapphires in their latest East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 game on 27th October 2013. Charnwood Sapphires, who were promoted in the Division 2 playoffs at the end of last season alongside the Knights, had lost to the Nottingham-based team in their last two league encounters and came out fighting with a strong defence and determined pace. However the Knights, who wanted to maintain their unbeaten record against the Sapphires, were able to finish the quarter two points ahead of Charnwood (12-10).
The Knights made a change in attack, bringing on Gaby Titley-Wilson as GA and dropping Hale back to her usual position of GS for the remainder of the game. There was improved communication in the Knights defensive circle and the effective duo of Aiken and Drury were able to pressurise Charnwood into making poor passes into the circle, minimise the shooting opportunities for their GS and force their GA to shoot from the circle edge. This meant that Charnwood were unable to obtain a score in double figures for the remaining three quarters.
The score at half time was 21-17 and the Knights came out after the break, focused on extending their lead. They achieved this in the first half of the third quarter, turning over Charnwood’s centre passes and breaking through the long arms of their defence. However, Knights’ heads went down towards the end of the quarter and allowed Charnwood to encroach on their lead; the end-of-quarter whistle couldn’t come soon enough!
The Knights coach, Karen Cresswell, motivated the players to refocus on their individual aspects of the game and pull together as a team and the players responded with renewed vigour right until the end of the match, winning the quarter 11-6 and the game 43-32.
The umpires voted Fiona Hale (GA/GS) as the Player of the Match.