Netball – Match Report
11th March 2010
Clifton Campus Sports centre played host to this year’s Varsity Netball. A 200 strong crowd packed the balcony and floor for an eagerly awaited match up that had the University of Nottingham team as favourites to win.
It was interesting to observe the high proportion of SU candidates present at the match, bringing with them considerable entourages. Who knew they were such avid Netball fans! But the two teams were here to play not vote and were a picture of concentration before the off.
The first quarter began as many had predicted with Uni taking the lead 0-1. The pace was frenetic and before Uni had time to catch breath Trent had equalised.
The first few minutes saw the teams exchange goals with Uni GA Taryn Belcher Brown linking up well with GS Jenny Catlow. Uni soon opened up a 2 goal advantage , Belcher Brown shooting from 6 yards to make it 4-6. Trent replied with two goals in quick succession to make it 6-6 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Trent team began to get a hold in the game and Uni GK Danni Mccoll (nickname “Beaver”) came under more and more pressure as Trent headed for double figures. The whistle went for the end of the quarter and the home team (Trent) had a surprising 10-7 lead.
The second quarter commenced with the Uni team bringing on Rachael Bird at GS. The substitution payed immediate dividends as in the blink of an eye it was 10-9 and Trent suddenly looking vulnerable in defence. In the following few minutes the lead was exchanged numerous times as both teams looked to get a foothold in a tempestuous affair.
With six mins left on the clock it was 12-13 in Uni’s favour before Danni Mccoll at GK was harshly judged to have fouled the opposition player thus giving away a free shot. The Trent GA never looked like missing and the game was tied once more at 13-13.
The crowd up until now had been slightly reserved; that was until a mid-court collision saw Uni Centre Emily Staite flatten the opposition WD. The home fans piped up and for the remainder of the second quarter Staite was cast as the villain by the majority Trent crowd; her every touch being met with a comical boo!
Chances were abundant for both teams in the closing minutes of the second quarter, but it was Trent who were more consistent in attack as they pushed on to lead 15-14 at the half-time buzzer.
In the short intermission a chant of “Come on Uni” reverberated around the Sports Hall. It was becoming apparent that the girls would need all the support they could get as the Trent team weren’t following the pre-match script.
The third quarter began at a slower pace as both teams looked to catch breath after the frantic first half. The battle in the centre of the court was absorbing as University’s WD Rubie Bridge had her hands full tracking Trent’s energetic WA. As the period progressed the Trent GA made her presence felt netting successive goals, one from a full 7 yards to put Trent 19-14 up. Uni had chances but they simply weren’t finishing as well as Trent.
The third quarter ended with the score Trent 24-17 Uni. As the Uni squad gathered for their final team talk a shout of “Win” came from the Trent huddle. It was original if nothing else but summed up the Trent mentality perfectly.
The final quarter saw Uni bring on two substitutes, at GK; Dianne Iyayi coming on for Mccoll and Captain Charlotte Cousins made way for Georgia Rule at GD.
One minute into the quarter and Trent’s GA went down with cramp, eventually being substituted having attempted to run it off. She had been the outstanding player on court and her departure offered some hope for the Uni girls. However it only acted to galvanise Trent who began to pass the ball beautifully and the Trent GS made it 30-20 with five minutes to go.
Rachael Bird was now leading the front-line for Uni and she finished off a great team play to make it 30-21. The move began with an interception from Charlotte Cousins who was back on the court and the ball moved swiftly through Anna Cousins till it was in the Attacker’s hands who put it away confidently. With five minutes remaining in the match the girls knew the game was beyond them but they still chased every ball down till the last making sure they could leave the court with their heads held high. The quarter continued in a similar vein to those that had preceded it, neither team giving an inch.
Uni got the final goal of the game as the buzzer went, the score, Trent 36-26 Uni. The girls sportingly congratulated their opponents as cheers rang around the partisan crowd; the Trent ladies making it three wins in the past three Varsities. This one was thoroughly deserved and the Uni girls will have no complaints. They gave it their all, but they were beaten by an inspired Trent team who no doubt will have a target on their back coming into the same fixture next year.
The Varsity series is now uncomfortably close at Uni 3-2 Trent with the Men’s Basketball next up.
FINAL SCORE: TRENT WIN 36-26
Next up for the Netball team is a Charity Auction this weekend Saturday 13th March at VIA FOSSA at 7.30! Head down there to support the club if you can.
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Alistair Hill and Tom Ryan.