Match report: 1st Vs Alpha (County League), 28 Sept

Team: Marisa, Suz, Janelle, Super sub Kim, Chief, Jennie P, SJW, Lozza, Sophie, T

Well said by T in pre-match email:

‘Interestingly the whole England squad were doing a lot of what we have been doing in training recently, they must have stolen our drills!

  • Never receive the ball from standing still
  • Offer, re-offer and re-offer again!
  • That good old pre move

Lets really focus and remember what has really worked in previous matches… speed, control, options, communication and possession!

Alpha has a reputation of playing a fantastically quick and decisive game.  They are feisty and they are good. We were slightly wrong-footed by the change of venue and traffic seemingly gulping up half of the squad but we quickly adapted to the condensed warm up and took to the court ready to give it our best; implementing all of the NUNS tactics!  (Tactics that were clearly stolen by the England Netball Squad against South Africa on Wednesday.)  I might take this opportunity to digress slightly and say that as the only Saffa in the club (at the moment), I did represent my country on this occasion in full fledged South African kit and flag, although I have to admit that I did cheer occasionally when Jo Harten outplayed and out manoeuvred my lovely Saffa defender!

Back to the game.  We finished the first quarter pretty much neck and neck leading 12-9.  Some great insights from our subs and T, with moving into space being the magic phrase, we hit the court for the second quarter. We did well and by displaying great physicality (sorry, I couldn’t resist – we have a South African commentator on the Rugby panel on Sky Sports who uses this word incessantly), we stretched our lead to 29-17.

It was clear that all the pre-season training, plus the fantastic coaching we’ve received, has paid off and we stayed strong. With flawless substitution every quarter, the squad rotated seamlessly throughout the game.  As previously mentioned, Alpha is such a good side, a force to be reckoned with and the score (third quarter 43-27) was not a true reflection of how hard we had to fight to retain and gain possession of the ball.

Other than standing hands on knees, breathing hard, I don’t remember much of the fourth quarter – promise you I’ve probably never had to defend my position on court so hard to receive the ball – their defence was relentless up to the very last whistle.

Special thanks to super-sub Kim who slotted in perfectly and with such calm and grace.  It was an awesome game all round and we had loads of fun!  Final score: 52-38 to NUNS.

MOTM – Marisa

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