Grasshopper Netball Club made a great start to their return game against Sleaford Barge in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 game (Sunday 8th February 2015). Grasshoppers took the lead in the first quarter with some slick play, demonstrating a good rhythm. However, the lead did not last long enough. Sleaford began to find their feet and turned over a couple of Grasshopper's centre passes, allowing them to have a 3-goal lead after the first quarter (10-13).
Sleaford's rhythm continued during the second quarter whereas Grasshoppers seemed to completely lose their initial positive flow. Solid shooting from the Sleaford shooters saw them open up the game and Grasshoppers were down 16-25 at half time.
Sleaford continued their onslaught during the third quarter with Grasshoppers unable to find their feet. Hoppers managed to add just 8 goals to Sleaford's 19 and by the end of the third quarter, it was 24-44.
In spite of some sterling defending by Grasshopper’s Tracy Glover (GK), her team could not catch up with Sleaford and the match ended Grasshopper NC 31-60 Sleaford.
Sleaford won the toss and took the first centre pass - converting immediately. For a while, it was goal for goal, but then Grasshoppers, having found their rhythm, had an inspired period of play, with some good shooting from Donna Osborn (GA) and Andy Flewitt (GS). This allowed Grasshoppers to lead 11-9 at the end of the first quarter. Sleaford seemed out of sorts.
The second quarter did not continue in the same vein for Grasshoppers, as Sleaford Barge settled into their rhythm and seemed to 'up the ante'. Despite some good play by the Grasshoppers defence - Tracy Glover (GK) and Megs Palmer (GD) - Sleaford converted goal after goal and won this quarter 6-15.
It was a similar story in the third quarter, but the Grasshoppers defence contained the Sleaford Barge shooters a little more. In fact, it was a good standard of netball from all players on court but Sleaford Barge edged the quarter 6-11.
The final quarter flowed back Grasshoppers' way. They converted goal after goal and were doggedly determined in defence all up the court. Sleaford Barge had once more lost their rhythm - and also their GD to injury - and it looked as if Grasshoppers would catch them up. However, Sleaford Barge's shooters began to convert again, which meant that Grasshoppers just failed to gain an extra point by not coming within 4 goals of the final score (Grasshoppers 34-40 Sleaford Barge). A very well contested game by both sides and congratulations to Grasshoppers’ GA – Donna Osborn – who earned the Player of the Match award.
Leicester's Grasshoppers began the first quarter strongly, matching Lincolnshire’s Brigg goal for goal and demonstrating some fast, fluid movement up the court. Unfortunately, however, a couple of turnovers by Brigg resulted in them coming out in front 13-10 by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was just as closely contested at the start, but as the quarter wore on, Brigg began to pull away through some very consistent shooting and some very strong defensive play by their GD. By the end of the second quarter, they led 27-18.
At half time, both sides made some changes to their line-up. However, even with fresh legs on court, Grasshopper’s defence struggled to contain Brigg’s shooters and they took a strong lead, winning the quarter 19-7, making the overall score 46-25.
In the final quarter, Brigg continued their shooting onslaught and unfortunately, Grasshoppers suffered an injury to GK and so had to substitute once more. By now, Grasshoppers’ aim was to secure half points by scoring at least half of Brigg’s total but the Leicestershire team ultimately missed out on this by one goal. Final score 64-31 in Brigg’s favour.
It was a disappointing result for the Grasshoppers team who had put in lots of hard work and given plenty of encouragement. Grasshopper NC's Player of the Match was awarded to Laura Harbour at WD.
Grasshoppers almost had to cancel this match due to lack of players, but after hard work by club officials - they managed to field a squad of 8. Tracy Glover moved from defence to attack, shooting with Donna Osborn at GA whilst the centre position was efficiently executed by Clare Fielding in the first half and Hannah Wale in the second half. Ripley's young, athletic team stormed out of the blocks in the first quarter and romped to a 12-9 lead.
Neither team made changes moving into the second quarter and it went goal for goal. However, Grasshoppers made a superb defensive turnover, which resulted in them eventually winning the quarter 9-8.
Squad - Nic Hewitt, Bec Heald, Kelly major, Jo Fillingham, Rachel Borland, Bryony franks, Pauline Antcliff & Hattie Haswell