Match Reports: 1sts v The Down and v Poly, 24th November

NUNS vs Downs 
We had a really cold and wet start on Saturday, which was kind of unfortunate timing given that this was probably going to be our most challenging match of the season thus far and we could have done with some nice dry weather.  We had a slow, cautious start.  We did not want to lose the ball and was careful on the wet court.  Unfortunately, Downs came down on us in full force and did not slow down, not for the weather’s sake nor ours.  A few quick turn-over balls saw Downs take the lead.  Unknown territory for us as we’ve had a flying start to our season.  We were on a winning streak of 12 matches to date and had to quickly reset ourselves to adjust to these circumstances.  Downs capitalised on the terms they set at the very start of the game and we found ourselves trying to match their rhythm and pace.  To our detriment. They stretched the lead further out and at the end of the game, after four hard fought quarters, the scale was tipped massively in their favour with a score I’d rather not remember. 

Playing downs was probably one of the best enjoyed matches I’ve experienced in the season thus far. Clean and physical.  Fantastic to lean from our mistakes after the outcome of this match was less than what we hoped for.    Here are a few things I learned on Saturday – which I hope we can revisit when we play (and beat) them later this season:

  • Timing is absolutely essential – when we got rattled slightly and things didn’t go the way we planned, we held on to the ball for that one second too long, which lead to us all driving into the same space at the same time.
  • Refocus as a team, but first, start by asking yourself: What can I do better in the next minute? Not the next 15 minutes or for the rest of the game, just for the next minute. It helps to refocus your brain and helps you not to over think the game.  For me it was to be available at the top of the goal third and directing (posh word for shouting at the top of my lungs) as much as I possibly could to help pull the attack and defence players into the right space when Downs had the ball.  (still need to learn my rights from my lefts, but hey ho, noise is noise!) Also to step in front of my keeper to really hold that space and stand my ground.
  • Stick to your own rhythm and pace.  Don’t let the other team entice you to follow theirs.  Never stop defending. Whether you are clear by 30 points or down by as much.  Step in front of your player when ever, where ever. Never relent!!!
  • Don’t forget to have fun.  When things go south, don’t be tempted to over think things.  Stop. Smile. And focus on points one, two and three.

M.O.M Marisa 

NUNS vs Poly 
Back inside on home ground, after fantastic white hot chocolate and other warm beverages, plus the added bonus of watching League of their Own at yours truly’s pad, we rocked up at Southfields Aspire.  Our strategy was points one to four as mentioned above.  No use in losing if you’re not going to turn it around in a win straight after!

We really did focus on stepping up and playing our game.  The sports hall was filled with the sounds of loud noise and chatter, smiles all round and working that extra bit harder to ensure we bring it together as a team.   It was a case of ‘getting back on the horse’.  Poly was not an easy game.  It was right on par with game one earlier that day.  So for the NUNS to step up and play a game next level up was just about the most amazing thing to witness (as we all know, shooters have loads of time on their hands to watch and analyse things from the bottom end of the court…).

We beat Poly fairly comfortably.  (My apologies – I really didn’t pay much attention to collecting the scorecard afterwards!).  We were exhausted but happy.  It was a fantastic day of netball. We gained a lot of experience and it is filed under ‘when the going gets tough, here is what to do’. 

M.O.M  Marisa 

Third match for the day played out in the Pig and Whistle.  Guinness won this one hands down.  Best recovery drink on the planet!

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