Netball Match Report

14th March 2011

Following the narrow Uni loss in the Women’s basketball match, tension was high in the University Park Sports Hall as the netball girls stepped up to try and win back a much needed point in this year’s Varsity Series. Uni started off the game with an efficient centre pass, but immediately lost possession as Trent went on to secure the first point of the match, setting the pace of the first quarter. Uni brought it back and managed to equalise from the edge of the circle. Both teams managed to exchange another two goals, the Uni shooters favoured slightly by the Trent GK getting repeatedly called up for distance. At this stage both teams were exhibiting a strong centre, with very good passing from the wings. Whilst Uni had a few fateful goal attempts they were holding up well against strong pressure from the Trent defence; as their shooters also appeared to find a rhythm, swift passing lead to three effortless goals.
The first five minutes saw the teams both scoring well, but Uni seemed to slightly lack passion and energy in comparison to their opponents; evident as Trent opened up a 4 goal advantage taking the score to 8-4. Still fighting hard but appearing slightly lethargic the Uni shooters worked well off the wings, using them productively on the edge of the circle to up their net total to 6. However it wasn’t quite enough to take the lead, as Trent’s tactical long overhead passing and strong and well organised attack increases their score justifying their position.

The second quarter started very much as the first left off, Trent quick to keep possession, upped their lead, managing to score within the first 30 seconds despite strong defence from the Uni girls. Scoring their first goal of the second quarter due to the Trent defenders overstepping their distance Uni were working hard to get points on the board, yet luck didn’t seem on their side as a few golden scoring opportunities were missed. At the other end of the court the Trent shooting partners continued to get the ball in the net at every attempt, refusing to be put off by intimidating Uni defence. A toss up won by Uni seemed a chance for luck to change as the ball was efficiently passed up to the shooters, only for another disappointing miss as an air of frustration from the home side filled the sports hall.

However, play lingered in the Uni third and after a few attempts the GA scored with the crowd willing her on. The Trent attack used their consequent possession to quickly get the ball back down to their shooters with relative ease, getting the ball successfully into the net and putting more points on the board. Still seeming the more aggressive and energetic side, Trent went on to score three more goals in quick succession as Uni fail to get the ball back to their attack. However a sudden burst of vigour and power saw the Uni wings doing a great job of getting the ball up court, with strong and fast passing. A very vocal crowd fully behind them, the home side seemed to step up their commitment to the game, managing to score a sequence of goals as we reached half time, the score standing at 20-24. Up until this point the Uni girls didn’t seem to want the win as much as Trent, as we hoped to see a more determined game in the next quarter, turning those flashes of brilliant play into sustainable passing. The shot completion rate at this point for the Uni girls was 62.5% for the GS, and 59% for the GA.

As the second half commenced both teams seemed determined and rejuvenated, the win in reach for either side. Excitement filled the sports hall as the game ensued, Uni mixed up their defence, creating a more aggressive partnership, although Trent managed to maintain a high shot success rate, with the score venturing to 21-26. At the other end of the court the Uni shooters seemed still yet to settle into a comfortable shooting routine, despite the tight and fast action of the Uni centres who were exhibiting some great interceptions. With five minutes to go till the fourth quarter, the game picked up pace and the power struggle on court seemed to have been won by the home side,as Uni finally piled on the pressure. Effectively working rebounds and defending brilliantly in the circle meant we began to see Trent struggle to score for the first time in the match. Continuing to fight back, the Uni GS displayed some very well executed shots, closing the score to 25-26, and just falling short of equalising.

A much more passionate and fast paced game, the score went beyond equal standing as Uni took the lead. The Trent defence seemed to feel the pressure as they made a few mistakes in the circle. However, the teams continued to exchange goals as the crowd got really behind both sides, a great turn out from both University’s, and anticipation and excitement filled the hall as we went into the final quarter with the score at 30-29.

Uni threw themselves into the last ten minutes of the game, widening their lead immediately with 2 goals in quick succession. The Trent shooters appeared slightly fazed, managing to score one goal to another Uni two. Changes in the Uni attack seemed to have injected the much needed energy and determination they lacked in the first half. At this point both teams clearly wanted the win, demonstrating well executed and considered passing, whilst Uni used the C and WA efficiently to get the goals in. With two minutes on the clock the score stood at 40-38 with Uni just managing to maintain their lead. With three more goals to be scored and the crowd literally going wild the last seconds of the game were adrenaline fuelled and exciting, as either team could have potentially still taken the win. However, Uni held on to the lead and emerged victorious with their first netball Varsity win in two years, the final score 41-40.

This was a brilliant game with a high level of netball played consistently by the Trent girls who were unlucky in their defeat. The Uni team were saved by a mix up in both their attack and defensive set up, as well as seemingly finding their passion in the nick of time. Very well played to both teams!

Uni President Flo Milner ecstatic with win;