Match Report: 2nds v Highlanders, 22nd September

The first game of the season is always going to be challenging, and this year was no different. With a few injuries still not coming right pre-season and late season holidays meaning full team trainings haven’t always been possible, we weren’t feeling as court ready as we might have liked. But there are no excuses on court, and we weren’t going to let anything stop us.

Having played Highlanders in previous seasons we had some knowledge about what we were going to come up against – a well drilled team with some slick moves and solid combinations throughout the court.  They didn’t disappoint and came out fighting right from the first whistle  with some quick ball work and solid shooting.

With a few new combinations throughout the court, communication and patience were going to be key from us.  We also started off strong with lots of noise throughout the court ensuring that we were all aware of what was going on and supporting each other throughout. Some early pressure in the mid court and defence lead to a few key turnovers, and the attacking end made sure that each chance was converted.

We had a small lead going into the second quarter, and the girls kept up the energy and the pace to build on the lead. It was by no means an easy game, but the girls kept their heads up and played strong throughout the court.  Grace showed us what she’s made of, showing some good speed in the court and solid  work in bringing the ball down. We had a few basic errors creep in (balls through fingers and a few wayward passes), so we needed to cut that out.

The third quarter was important for us to ensure we bought down the error rate and kept on the pace, and boy did we do it. SJ’s appearance on court, with Grace heading back into GK, ensured that the energy levels stayed high.  Highlanders defence tried to shut down Becky’s impressive form in the circle, adding to her  impressive collection of bumps and bruises. However, Janelle stepped up and showed them how strong we are in the attacking end, nailing shots from, well, basically everywhere.

The final quarter was impressive from everyone as the work rate stayed high and we built on our lead to ensure we captured that all important first win of the season. The dedication from all girls – especially Anna DJ who executed a very impressive from-the-floor-to-mid-air  tip, leading to her being back on the floor  again– it was admirable, if not graceful.

Thanks to all our supporters on the sideline – loved having you there!

Final Score: 58-37 (I think – I need to double check!)

POM – Becky

Match Report – 3rds v Barnes, 15th September

The thirds first match of the season was at home against Barnes, who had come up from Surrey Premier D.  There was a bit of trepidation in the air as, due to late summer holidays, we had a mixed squad who hadn’t played together.  A big thank you to Sarah CC, Mandy and Zoe, who stepped in.

After the prerequisite start-of-the season “forgetting to do the teas”, the quick rush to Tescos and the classy cutting oranges by the side of the court, we settled down to a focused warm up.  But despite lots of support within the team, it wasn’t going to be our day.

They were all tall and we struggled.  I won’t unpick the difficulties but the final score was 22-47.  Good things to note were that we managed to adapt from quarter to quarter – deliberately applying new tactics, especially in defence and mid court.  Amanda and Lisa worked their hearts out in the defensive circle and made it harder for them.  And we concentrated on the basic attacking drives and passing that Marnie had been drilling us on.

On court the score line gap didn’t feel that wide and there was lots of support.  But this wasn’t the start we wanted.  And we know we’re going to need to pick it up significantly.  Hopefully we’ll whip them on the away leg!

Our thanks to Rhonda for coming along to support and advise.  And to the socials who came early to cheer us on in the second half.  And congratulations to the tireless Emma B, our man of the match.

Onwards and upwards!