Team Rowley and Kinetics off to winning starts in netball’s top flight
After a slow start, Team Rowley made sure of all three points in their first match in this year’s netball league against AHS while Kinetics also got off to a winning start, seeing off Wastside. Challengers were victorious in the second division while Tingwall secured a narrow win against Ness in the third.
Team Rowley 34, AHS 25
Team Rowley’s first game of the new season saw them take longer to settle and focus than their young opponents. Team Rowley saw the addition of two new players to their squad, Lisa Morrison as shooter and Karen Bannister in centre court. AHS were sharper in their passing but only two goals separated them with AHS leading 8-6 at the break.
The second quarter saw TR switch Lisa Morrison to GA and Marie Clark into GS to mix it up for AHS defenders Megan Keppie (GK) and Emma Leask (GD). This quarter was very even with forced errors and unconverted chances for both sides meaning a low scoring period with four goals each, AHS maintaining their two goal lead 12-10.
TR made changes to their line up in the third quarter. Lisa and Marie swapped back, Julie Kirkness (WA) was replaced by Karen Bannister (WD) and Morag Fox came on at WD. TR’s performance was dramatically enhanced by these changes, resulting in an excellent quarter for TR. Conversion of goals from the on-form shooters Clark and Morrison and the interceptions and rebounds won by the TR defence of Maisie Unsworth (GD) and Fiona Dally (GK) saw them stride ahead 24-17 by the last break.
The AHS team made a variety of changes: Louise Jamieson to GS and Debbie Smith to GA, Sophie May Leyland moved from C to GK, Megan Keppie to WA and Anne Marie Kennerley to C. TR continued their form into the final period but the AHS shooters found form again, creating a faster paced end to the game. TR boosted their lead by two goals, winning a tougher game than the score reflects, 34- 25.
Players of the match were Maisie Unsworth for Team Rowley and Allie Elphinstone for AHS.
Kinetics 38, Wastside 26
This game saw an evenly matched first quarter, with the Wastside performing well against Kinetics. Wastside defenders Pauline Walterson (GD) and Sarah Young (GK) played well against Kinetics shooters Kirsti Leask (GA) and Emma Gray (GS).
The second quarter was a low scoring affair as both teams worked hard to break down the attack and restrict shooting opportunities. Kinetics defenders Ingrid Nicol (GD), Lesley Spence (GK) and Cheryl Simpson (WD) put pressure on the Wastside attack of Julie Odie (GS), Mhari Moncrieff (GA) and Erica Mikolajczak.
The third and fourth quarters saw Kinetics stepping up a gear and converting their shots, although at times Wastside put on pressure with Pauline Walterson making some crucial interceptions.
Challengers 47, Mishaps 26
The game started fast and furious with good play from both teams but the Challengers shooters missed vital shots and at half time the score was 17-14 to Mishaps. Challengers pulled themselves together in the second half and with Lynsey Irvine finding her form and hardly missing a shot, the game ended in a win to Challengers of 47-26.
Players of the match were Catherine Williamson (C) for Challengers and Lara Thomason (C) for Mishaps.
Ness 25, Tingwall 28
Anne Mouat (GD) for Tingwall intercepted the first centre pass, which was quickly converted. Was this to be the nature of the match? It was for the first quarter as Zoey Symington (GA) and Karla Stewart (GS) rarely missed a shot and scored five in a row with no Ness reply. The quarter ended 10-6 to Tingwall.
Ness were feeling the pressure of the physical Tingwall side, but were determined to save face in this game. There was long play before the first goal of the second quarter was scored by Elizabeth Williamson (GS) for Ness. Ness caught up to 12-10 with excellent shooting and much better passing into the semi-circle, but this was short-lived as Tingwall took control of the centre third, particularly from Paula Sinclair (C). They also stopped many balls getting into the semi-circle with strong defending from both Anne Mouat (GD) and Kim Johnson (GK). Tingwall scored four in a row with no Ness reply. The half ended 18-11 to Tingwall.
Tingwall made a few changes to their line-up, particularly moving Paula Sinclair up to GS. The momentum of the first half was kept up in this quarter, with fast play from both sides. Ness finally got control of the centre third with junior Ashley Young (C) playing particularly well and finding her GS with every pass into the semi-circle. Ness finally got to grips with the feisty Tingwall side and kept them at bay, with the quarter ending 26-19 to Tingwall.
Ness came out in this last quarter determined to win and fought for every loose ball, especially Ashley Young (C). The fast pace and physical presence of Tingwall continued in this quarter, but finally the Ness players understood how to cope with it better and didn’t let any 50/50 balls go to Tingwall. Ness scored six to Tingwall’s two in this quarter and felt a little let down that they hadn’t brought this determination in the earlier quarters, or had the final minute to play out, as the score ended 28-25 to Tingwall.
It was difficult for Ness to choose a player of the match for Tingwall, but in the end Paula Sinclair’s agility at C and excellent semi-circle play at GS earned her the honours. For Ness it was teen Ashley Young at C for her never say die attitude, ability to keep control and make superb passes into the semi-circle, given her young age in the senior league.