After an incredibly energetic and productive game, in which underdogs Nottingham III gave UEA’s women a real run for their money, Netball I secured a stunning 63-29 win over their visitors from the Midlands.
Nottingham began the first quarter in possession and scored against UEA in the opening seconds. There followed some slightly scrappy and over-anxious passing within the UEA attack in order to establish an equaliser, which was quickly achieved by goal shooter Sarah Clark. From this point onwards, Nottingham never regained their lead, despite displaying some very neat and organised passing techniques, which enabled them to cover much of the court in short spaces of time. Very noticeable skill was present in Carmen Hannibal-Stewart (wing attack) and her cooperation with goal attack and team captain Becca Hargreaves, whom achieved a great number of goals for the home side through the match’s entirety. UEA closed the first quarter with a secure lead of 16 goals to eight.
The second quarter continued in the same vein as the first, with swift possession from UEA and a barrage of goals from Hargreaves, maintaining the pressure of the lead. Nottingham began nervously and even though UEA maintained a score line that was double theirs for the entire quarter, the Nottingham attack developed strongly and they fought hard against the home side as their own score crept into the 20s. In the dying moments of the second quarter, Clark netted two elegant goals against a determined Nottingham defence, and a third as the whistle blew.
Against a formidable 49-24 score and Hargreaves moved into goal shooter position, Nottingham continued with the same vigour and prowess as had been evident previously in the game. Hannibal-Stewart held up the middle ground with undying energy for the remaining two quarters, and goal attack Kathryn Canavan put away a number of skilful shots alongside Hargreaves to bring the score up into the 60s. The pace of scoring slowed somewhat in the final 15 minutes but possession remained mostly in the hands of UEA, despite numerous skilful attacks from Nottingham even in the final moments.
A great success for UEA’s women but a magnificent match played also by Nottingham’s third team, who rose to a rough challenge with energy, skill and grace. Some astounding individual performances and a stunning team effort for UEA made this game a pleasure to watch, and promises good results for the remainder of the season.