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.