Last County game and the toughest game of the season.
Line up – Kath, Apples, SJB, Marisa, T, Rosie, Sammi, Gilly, Chief
What a great way to end the season playing against Downs, who ranks top of the county league. We knew it was going to be a very tough game, and we had nothing to lose, Downs was the team under pressure. They beat us fair and square previously – all the more reason why we decided we are going to bring it all!
Throughout the first half we were up by one or two the entire time – a brilliant start to the game. We had them worried – and with good reason – we were feisty and ready to work hard in bringing the ball down court with every turn over. It was such a physical and psychological game and as in every head-on clash, we rose to the occasion and met them for a glorious show-down! T, Sammi & SJB was working tremendously hard in defence – the absolute brilliance in their working together saw every ball Downs sent down court turn into a 50/50 chance of getting our hands on the ball – no easy passes allowed! The first phase of defence was sustained by the second phase and we saw intercepts, tips, tremendous jumps and all round brilliance at work! Through mid court Kath, Rosie and Apples had to make clever split second decisions to play at our own pace and not allowing Downs to manipulate our placement on court. Even thought they tried, we had great presence of mind to dodge, move on to the ball and keep on our toes. In attack we didn’t revert back to our normal overheads as they anticipated it and worked great triangles to ensure we get it as close to the post as possible.
During the second half, Downs definitely stepped up their game. What they might have thought could possibly be an easy game, wasn’t. We had fresh legs in the form of Chief and Gilly who could help keep up with the change in pace and game plan. Much to the delight of those on and off the court, we had a squealing Gilly when she was clear open across court, bringing laughter and all round fun. Chief and Kath formed the formidable wall past which Downs struggled to get clear passes. Unfortunately, Downs is also top of the league for a reason. On this occasion, they were just that tiny bit better than us to turn over a loose ball here and there and converting it immediately. Towards the end of Q3 we were trailing by 4 or 5. Downs finished the game 9 up. This is however not a reflection of us relenting, rather than their tactics changing throughout. We did very well and hassled to the very end! Overall, a tough fair game – we had fun and that warm fuzzy feeling of just absolutely going out there and giving it our all. It almost felt like a win. Final score 55-46 to Downs, putting us second in the County league.
We had fantastic support from the sidelines – NUNS Mens supporters Club and friends were out in full force –who cheered on all the way and the positivity that floated round was truly awesome!
A huge thank you to Joan for our coaching and working with us to the very bitter end to ensure we gave it everything we had! Massive thanks to brilliant T for her leadership and being such an awesome Captain and to Rosie for her role as Vice Captain and support to T and the rest of the players.
We really missed three members of our team – we lost Loz to knee injury and Suz & Lucy to discovering the world. We also lost Apples to a broken wrist and elbow in this game against Downs – get well soon Apples!