With the first centre pass of the game Barge were quickly on the scoreboard. They continued to fly out of the blocks in defence and attack, leading to a 4-0 buffer. Even though the lightning start from Barge had ruffled Falcons’ feathers, they managed to compose themselves and stay in touch with Barge throughout the first quarter. The first quarter finished 15-11 to Barge.
Going into the second quarter, Sleaford knew they had to keep the opposition under the cosh, aware that Falcons possessed experience and that only a couple of turnovers early on could potentially level the scores. However, Sleaford’s attack were always one step ahead of Falcons’ defence: shooters Jade Potter and Emma Sharpe were found with ease, and the pair slotted the goals away like it was a penny arcade machine! Sleaford’s defence were also a force to be reckoned with as Falcons Yellow struggled to find their shooters thanks to some smart marking by Sleaford’s Rosie James and Laura Jesson. This created errors and subsequent turnovers, which were quickly converted to goals by the Sleaford team. Towards the latter stages of the quarter, Falcons upped their defence in Sleaford’s attacking third by pressuring every ball. However, midcourt support from WD Katie Clarke ensured Sleaford were never short of an option. The second quarter score ended 19-5 to Barge taking the overall score to 34-15.
At half time both teams made changes. Falcons Yellow switched up defence whilst Sarah Brinkworth came on to WA, Anne Sharpe moved to GK and Laura Jesson took to the bench for Barge. This quarter was much more closely fought with the new line-ups settling into the game and perhaps some fatigue creeping in for both teams. Falcons’ defence started to shut down long feeds to Barge’s shooter Jade Potter and Sleaford sensed they had to change it up. Emma Sharpe duly stepped up by driving into the D and offering another option. The quarter finished 13-12 to Barge taking the overall score to 47-27.
Determined to finish with a flurry Sleaford decided to up their game during the final quarter whilst also maintain consistency. Meanwhile Falcons brought on some fresh legs to C to keep up with Barge’s Shannon Boothright who specialises in running her players ragged. Sleaford intensified their work rate again with midcourt Sarah Brinkworth feeding shooter Jade with ease. The performance allowed Barge to take the final quarter 19-9 and win by an overall score of 64-36.
Would like the thank Falcons for a great game and the sportsmanship shown by both teams at the end!