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.