Lovely sunshine day today, what more can you ask for! Well actually, on-time trains…Not ideal when you have a moment of panic prior to playing a match because public transport seems to run with massive delays!! Luckily they knew how important the NUNS game was, as they then scheduled in an extra stop to Balham to pick up Chief Laura. We arrived well in time and started with a structured warm-up to focus our minds.
With last tips from T and Rosie to stay strong, run onto the ball and snatch the ball as if your life depended on it, we took to the court. We had a cracking start. Five minutes in and we already stretched to a four up lead. A very surprised Cobham team tried desperately to focus on zoning to no avail. Rosie, Apples and Laura picked holes in their defence, and always seemed to have loads of space to move into and on the defence side, Sami, Sarah B and T enjoyed many turn overs due to good communication and fantastic reading of the ball.
Cobham’s GK fainted, causing some concern and a break mid-way through first quarter. Cool and calm Rosie stepped in very quickly and took control of the situation, ensuring she was well looked after.
We ever so slightly lost focus after this and Cobham seemed to start finding their feet. A good lesson in how important it is to never let any situation take your focus off the game. We finished the first quarter strong. NUNS 15-9 Cobham.
With Joan’s talk fresh in our minds to stay focused, second quarter commenced. High in confidence, we continued to apply everything we focused on in training on Tuesday, driving onto the ball, being patient and it paid off. We concluded the quarter eight up. NUNS 28-20 Cobham.
Fresh legs in the form of Lucy and Lozza kept the momentum going in the third quarter. By now, Cobham was well aware that they underestimated NUNS and a quick change in tactics saw them stick man-on, surprising us slightly with a few turn-overs. I also had the embarrassing moment of missing three shots right under the post, but getting the rebound every time so had to give it another.. and another…and another go! Thank goodness Apples came to the rescue and finally relieved the pressure!
We recovered and refocused, realising the changes required and focused once again on driving onto the ball. That made all the difference and we ended the quarter six up, relenting slightly on the big lead we enjoyed throughout. NUNS 42-36 Cobham.
Cobham came out fighting fourth quarter and made Suz and I work harder in the circle, however they were no match for Suz feeding the ball in at perfect height and speed. Unfortunately, in general, our fourth quarter was littered with footwork, breaking (although we’re still trying to work out how it was breaking when Apples was in fact three feet behind the line) and increased contact calls.
We struggled to stop the momentum Cobham was gaining from this and they crept ever closer. The last five minutes was action packed and everyone, both NUNS and Cobham, fought hard and dug deep. Passers-by stopped to watch our match as the intensity, energy and shouting increased with every passing second. (Lozza wants to charge them entertainment fees). We came to a nail-biting end. We won. With one goal! Final score: NUNS 53-52 Cobham.
Overall, we kept our cool. We were under immense pressure during the last quarter, but we did not relent and kept fighting. We made a few basic errors when we could not afford it and one of the take-aways of the game is to ensure we work harder in the future to prevent these from creeping in.
The all round positive energy and hard work helped us bag this one and we are very happy with the result!
Team. T, Sarah B, Sami, Lozza, Laura, Lucy, Rosie, Apples, Suz, Marisa.