Grasshopper won the first centre and started well, but it was a close first quarter with both sides converting goals once they got it into the circle. In the end, Grasshopper just nudged ahead 14-12 after the first 15 minutes.
During the second quarter, Grasshopper initially pulled further ahead by several goals – only to be caught up and then overtaken by Hinchcliffe. It meant Grasshopper were trailing by half time.
At the break, Coach Anne Melling brought on fresh legs, which gave Grasshopper fresh impetus: Katie Long came on at GA , Kara Kataiwai at WA, Becs Smith at WD, and Tracy Glover at GK. Meanwhile, Megs Palmer moved across to GD to contain a very influential Hinchcliffe GA. Still, it was difficult to divide the teams – as they continued to parry – goal-for-goal. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 43-43 and both captains had been spoken to by the umpire.
With everything resting on the final quarter, the first five minutes were tense. Grasshopper moved ahead only to be caught up again by Hinchcliffe. However, with some outstanding play by Player of the Match, Katie Long – and some superb and consistent shooting by GS Stacie Racz – Grasshopper eventually pulled away to win the game 59-52. It was a hard-fought game, but Grasshopper deserved their win in the end.
Grasshopper NC made a bright start to their game against Brigg Impacts, defending solidly and turning over a couple of their centre passes. Sarah Barbour (GK) in particular intercepted many passes into the Brigg shooters. Grasshoppers led 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Grasshoppers continued to build on their lead through some more solid defensive work from Sarah Barbour and Megs Palmer (GD), coupled with consistent shooting from Stacie Racz (GA). By half time, the score was 27-15.
At half time, coach Anne Melling made a couple of changes: Stacie Racz moved to GS and Katie Long came on as GA. This paid dividends as the goals kept popping in and Grasshoppers demonstrated good confidence all over the court. By the end of the third quarter, Grasshoppers led 46-23.
Brigg made some changes of their own for the final quarter, which meant things were a little tougher for Grasshoppers. However, the Leicestershire team still maintained their lead, and won every quarter. The final score was 61-37. A great game from all concerned and congratulations to Players of the Match from either end: Sarah Barbour (GK) and Stacie Racz (GA/GS).
Sunday’s match between Grasshopper NC and University of Loughborough promised to be a close one and it did not disappoint. The University of Loughborough began the strongest; Grasshopper NC lost a couple of centre passes and forced some balls into the shooting circle that were not as accurate as they could have been. By the end of the quarter, they were trailing 12-14.
Coach, Anne Melling, brought on Hannah Wale at WA for the second quarter, and Grasshopper’s game began to flow. More Grasshopper shots were converted, and, combined with solid defending by Megs Palmer (GD and eventual ‘Player of the Match’) and Tracy Glover (GK), the team overturned the University of Loughborough’s lead by half time (26-22 overall).
The third quarter saw the same Grasshopper team take to the court, but the University of Loughborough started well, converting several quick goals to catch up.
The match was extremely close until well into the fourth quarter. Then, Grasshopper managed to pull away again through the ‘fresh legs’ they’d brought on at the break, in the form of Becs Smith at WD and Kara Kataiwai at WA. Grasshopper were leading 41-35 when a serious injury to the University of Loughborough’s WD player occurred. An ambulance was sent for, and the match abandoned in the fourth minute of the final quarter. The outcome of the result is still to be confirmed by the League Secretary.
Sunday (22nd January) saw top of the table Southgate clash with Grasshopper NC. Having missed key players for their previous game’s loss, Southgate brought in their ‘big guns’ for this match, and got off to a flying start. Their fast, slick moves and sharp shooting saw them lead 13-6 by the end of the first quarter.
Grasshopper Coach, Anne Melling, changed things around after the first 15 minutes, bringing on Laura Scigliano at GD, Kara Kataiwai at WA and Katie Long at GA. The changes, alongside superb defending (and in particularly by GK, Tracy Glover, who won the ‘Player of the Match’ award), meant Grasshoppers were more evenly matched. They only lost that quarter 10-8 (meaning 23-14 down overall).
No Grasshopper changes were made at half time, but unfortunately, the team lost their rhythm and struggled to successfully bring the ball into their attacking area. Loose feeds into the attackers were also picked off by Southgate’s very strong, physical defence. Grasshoppers lost this quarter 14-6.
For the last quarter, Coach Melling brought back Stacie Racz at GS, Hannah Wale at WA and Amy Brennan at C, and moved versatile Sofi Mills back into GD. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The final score was 54-27. Despite defeat, Grasshopper NC secured a very valuable bonus point.
Sunday saw Grasshopper NC play Nottingham Knights – a match that Grasshopper has not won for years. They made a strong start, with solid shooting from Katie Long (GS) and Donna Osborn (GA) and were winning 8-4 by the end of the first quarter.
Grasshopper’s defence of Laura Scigliano (GD) and Megs Palmer (GK) played very strongly and Notts Knights only scored 5 in the next quarter. In attack, coach Anne Melling brought on Stacie Racz as GS and Hannah Wright as WA and part way through the quarter, Carly Varney – in at C – needed to be replaced by Amy Tonks due to what looked to be a serious injury.
Despite Notts Knights succeeding in getting the ball up to the attack, the two shooters failed to convert on numerous occasions – whereas Grasshopper’s shooters did, so by the end of the third quarter, Grasshoppers were leading 29-17.
In the final quarter, the Grasshopper defence continued to dominate the Notts Knights shooters and switched well to turn the ball over; they only let in 4 goals. This, coupled with consistently accurate shooting by GS and GA, meant that Grasshopper NC were outright winners by the end of the game 43-21 and this has seen them move to the top of the league – to hold joint first place with Southgate NC. Well done Grasshoppers!
Grasshopper NC – currently sitting second in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 - played Brigg Impact, a team languishing towards the bottom of the league. Grasshopper made a bright start, but it was goal-for-goal as the first quarter progressed. That is, until the end of the first period where Grasshopper pulled away to take a 15-9 lead.
Coach Anne Melling made no changes for the start of the second quarter, keeping faith with all the players on court. It was a decision that paid dividends, as Grasshopper increased their lead to 33-14 at half time.
Half time saw Grasshopper’s Coach swap the WA and WD, so Hannah Wale came off for Kara Kataiwai and Sarah Melling made way for Becs Smith, respectively. The changes didn’t hamper Grasshopper’s flow, with Centre Amy Tonks continuing to link everything up well. The Grasshopper defence of Sofi Mills (GD) and Tracy Glover (GK) also did a sterling job of keeping out the goals from Brigg, limiting the opposition to just 8 goals in the third quarter (score 52-22).
Grasshopper made no changes for the final quarter and continued to dominate the game, piling pressure upon Brigg Impact. The final score was 69-29. Player of the Match – on her first appearance this season – was Sofi Mills and it was very well deserved too.
Sunday saw Grasshopper Netball Club face Loughborough University's netball team and the 'hoppers' were up against it from the start. At the end of the first quarter, they were down and losing. This remained the case in the second quarter, but then when Grasshoppers were still losing at half time - after a hard fought, competitive first half - Coach, Anne Melling made several changes, bringing off Sarah Melling at Wing Defence and replacing her with Becs Smith, moving Carly Varney off from C and bringing on Amy Brennan at C and Hannah Smith at WA.
Unfortunately, these changes didn't work and it looked - during the third quarter - as if Grasshoppers were really missing one of their key players - GA, Donna Osborn. In spite of some sterling defensive work by Sadie Burch at GD and Megs Palmer at GK, Grasshoppers could still not catch Loughborough.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Coach made further changes to the team and Grasshopper's fortunes began to change - but a win still seemed totally out of reach. However, with this particular combination, the netball just seemed to flow effortlessly - and Loughborough University seemed to lose their rhythm drastically. So much so that by the end of the match, Grasshoppers had actually won the game by 3 clear goals; 41-38. A superb win, but well deserved after the netball played in the last quarter. Player of the Match: GD - Sadie Burch.
Grasshopper NC lost this game by one goal last season, but wreaked their revenge this season. They made a storming start and led the first quarter 13-9. They further capitalised on this during the second quarter, with some sterling, solid defensive turn-overs and some good shooting. By half time, they led 28-15.
At half time, Coach Anne Melling brought on fresh legs at WA, C and WD, choosing not to change things at either circle end. The fresh legs paid off and by the end of the third quarter, Grasshoppers had extended their lead to 40 goals to 23.
However, in the final quarter, Grasshoppers began to look tired – in spite of the fresh legs – and Falcons began to pile on the pressure, with some very accurate shooting by their GS. Moreover, some ill-chosen long balls into the attacking circle by Grasshopper were also picked off by the Falcons defence. However, it wasn’t enough to damage Grasshopper’s healthy lead. The final score was 51-35. Player of the Match was Megs Palmer (GK/GD) and the game was played in an excellent spirit by both teams.
This was Grasshopper Netball Club's (GNC) first match of the season and they made a nervy start against Southgate, losing the first quarter. However, the team settled into their stride in the second quarter and, despite not capitalising on all of the shots they put up, managed to win this period, albeit by a smaller margin.
After half time, Grasshopper maintained their momentum, but only managed to draw the third quarter, meaning they were still trailing overall. However, the score line meant the fourth quarter was set to be very exciting as Grasshopper attempted to overturn the deficit. The final period saw goals popping in from end to end with Grasshopper once more winning the quarter duel. However, the team couldn’t quite do enough to overturn the first half deficit, losing the overall game, 43 goals to 41.
It was a feisty, well-fought game that was played in an excellent spirit and umpired to a good standard. GNC displayed a great team spirit throughout with Hannah Wale (WA) getting GNC’s player of the match.