Last Wednesday, the UEA netball 1s competed in the second round of the Midlands Conference Cup, hosting the University College Birmingham’s 1s. Despite a slow start, UEA booked their place in the next round with a 61-20 victory.
Birmingham played aggressively from the off and were better than has perhaps been anticipated. UEA were forced to work hard, but goal shooter Alex Makin’s stunning first goal gave the girls something to build on. The UEA defence performed particularly well yet again, with Charlotte Moorhouse, Rachel Dean and Natasha King frequently intercepting Birmingham’s passes. However, the away side were marking well in the opening stages, with UEA seeming a little lethargic in their movements. On more than one occasion, the opposition seemed to be everywhere at once, with their defence putting in a forceful display.
The Birmingham goal defence was constantly brought up by the umpire for obstruction and contact. Her manic and wild play often caused problems that lead to the girls struggling to obtain the ball. However, after a tricky first quarter UEA lead 8 – 5.
Into the second quarter, UEA picked up the pace and in the process left their lethargy behind. Despite the improvement, the girls were still sometimes unable to get to the all-important rebound when shots were missed.
Centre Sally Grice performed excellently, always pushing forward with the ball and intercepting at every opportunity, with help coming in the form of wing attack Sophie Parker.
UEA scored in quick succession and this seemed to spur the girls on, as they began to thrive under Birmingham’s attack. Makin and goal attack Sarah Clark were on top form, pairing well together to create goal opportunities. Birmingham’s defence continued to prove very aggressive with the ball and Clark had to call time after she was injured by one of their players.
By the third quarter, UEA were leading 24 – 8 and a change in the team positions gave the home side an edge. Asha Williams and Becky Killett, as the shooters, were a force to be reckoned with, continuously moving for the ball and trying to create space. Amber Parrott as the new goal keeper was on form, leaping for the ball with a strong determination.
There was some fabulous circle work between Williams, Killett, Grice and wing attack Lily Gibbons. The foursome worked well in passing the ball into spaces that Birmingham could not anticipate. Gibbons in particular brought some new, fresh energy to the team, constantly pushing forward and making original moves for the ball.
The final quarter followed suit, with Hannah Matthews aiding the shooters. UEA managed to turn around the Birmingham centres and secure a well earned victory.
The team remain unbeaten season, with a trip to Nottingham in the league up next on 4 December.