ANY aspirations that Kiwis held of winning netball’s division one were dealt a blow last weekend when the were beaten by AHS. Meanwhile the second division match saw a victory for Unst while in division three Scalloway Juniors, Scallywags and Lerwick Juniors all recorded wins.
AHS 40, Kiwis 31
A great opening first quarter from the AHS as they confidently took on the Kiwis who are currently second place in the league.
Andrea Strachan and Ava Sim quickly got under way, achieving a high scoring percentage. AHS capitalised on several wayward mid-court passes from Kiwis and gained the early advantage, 12-7 in their favour at the end of the first period.
The second quarter saw Brenda Leask and Morag Fox pile on the pressure on Strachan and Sim. Tight marking kept the shooters from the post and goals were now more difficult to come by. As Kiwis defence fed up the court their shooters Dawn Manson and Marie Clark did not disappoint and AHS were lucky to finish the first half in the lead by one goal at 18-17.
The third quarter proved to be the deciding period. With all to play for AHS made some tactical changes – Christine Jamieson moving to GA, Sim to GS and Strachan to WA.
Jamieson’s inventive play along with excellent support play from Inga Woods and Louise Birnie saw AHS begin to dominate. Unforced errors crept into the Kiwis play with the AHS quick to take advantage.
Margaret Johnston and Emma Leask were working well as a unit in the defending circle, snatching the all-important rebounds. It was a disappointing quarter from a Kiwis perspective as they finished the third period trailing 32-22.
With their confidence now running high and sensing an upset, AHS played out the remaining quarter, retaining possession at their centre and converting their shots.
An assertive all-round AHS team performance saw Louise Birnie and Christine Jamieson chosen as the players of the match. Brenda Leask got the vote for the Kiwis.
Challengers 22, Unst 28
This was the Challengers’ final game of the season and they were eager to maintain their 100 per cent win record. However, it was clear that Unst were up for a fight and looking to upset Challengers’ hopes. The game began frantically with both teams taking time to settle. The first quarter was evenly matched with Unst leading 8-7.
In the second and third quarters Unst began passing well up the court with Alice Mullay linking well with her centre court team mates.
Having not played netball for several years, Lynn Scott played well for the Challengers, providing good support up the court. Maree Simpson and Kathleen Jamieson worked tirelessly for the Challengers’ defence but there was little they could do as Claire Priest was shooting accurately from all areas of the circle. As a result, Unst had a comfortable lead of 23-13 going into the final quarter.
Challengers came out fighting in the final quarter and began closing the gap. However, it was too little too late. Player of the match for Unst was Alice Mullay while Lynsey Pearson took the honours for Challengers.
Scalloway Juniors 28, Ness 21
Scalloway Juniors settled quickly with good linking and careful passing between Rowan Nicolson and Karen Banister. Ness defended well with Vaila Irvine working hard in defending Julie Brown’s shots but Scalloway came ahead with the score at 16-12 after the first half.
The defence of Leah Henry and Kirsty Duerden worked hard around Ness’s attacking circle with Megan Halcrow making some good interceptions. However, Ness improved their play with a valuable substitution, Ruth Christie moving into GK who also defended well making it difficult for Juniors to score.
Caroline Wood also made a contribution to Ness’s score with very accurate shooting despite Juniors defence, ending the third quarter at 22-18 to the Scalloway Juniors.
The final half saw close play between both teams but Scalloway had the upper hand and came ahead to win. Players of the match were Rowan Nicolson for Scalloway Juniors and Caroline Wood for Ness.
Scallywags 29, Burra 19
This was a closely-fought tussle with little separating the two sides in the first half. The biggest margin of points was a grand total of two as like for like the net was found.
Scallywags were building up their attacks consistently, with Gwen Malcolmson well positioned to offer encouragement and strong passes to her team mates. Similarly Heather Henry for Burra was able to rally her troops well, and calmly step up to the net to shoot on target time after time.
Some careless passing and good interceptions from both teams kept a few points off the score which stood at 15-13 in Scallywags’ favour going into the third quarter.
Again even play ensued, with tight marking from Laura Saunders helping Scallywags build up a slight advantage. Unfortunately for Burra, things were not going their way as Louise Mellor left the court after an injury.
As Burra had no substitutes, Scallywags were enabled to build up a substantial lead of 22-15 going into the last 10 minutes. In the last quarter the Burra team was restored to seven player and they seemed to find some new strength as they pulled back a few points.
Marie Sharp was playing well but Scalloway attackers Cyndi Pottinger and Dana Watt were not going to give up, however, and pulled of some amazing shots on target to storm ahead and win the game.
Players of the match were Heather Henry for Burra and Gwen Malcolmson for Scallywags.
Mavericks 20, Lerwick Juniors 31
Play started quite evenly, with Lerwick Juniors just edging ahead. However ,Mavericks managed to stay within two goals for most of the first quarter.
As quarter time approached the Juniors seemed to shift up a gear and with some good movement and slick passing, especially between Caitlin and Sadie Tait, allowed them to increase their lead to 11-5 by quarter time.
During the second quarter some good interceptions from Mavericks’ Ashley Burgess, Amanda Gray and Susan Lindsay halted Juniors’ flow but unfortunately the Mavericks couldn’t build up a smooth passage down the court to their shooting end and the Juniors slightly increased the lead to 18-9 with Clair Gallagher’s extra height assisting theattack.
In the third quarter the Mavericks came out fighting and this time the team linked up well together, especially Alana Sinclair, Amber Inkster and Ali Elphinstoine, to allow three quick goals in succession. However, strong, assertive defensive play from Juniors defence of Alice Unsworth and Katie McMillan made it difficult to maintain the initial momentum and again play swung in Juniors, favour. Mavericks dug deep again and managed to narrow the gap slightly as play turned a bit scrappy as both teams started to tire but Juniors ended the quarter 27-15 ahead.
Again at the start of the last quarter Mavericks dug deep and despite scoring more goals than Lerwick Juniors, could not close the gap. Both centres Sarah Groat and Amber Inkster worked hard for their respective teams and the game with a win for Juniors in what was a friendly but hard-fought match.
Player of the match for LK Juniors was Alice Unsworth while Ali Elphinstone was impressive for Mavericks.
- A squad of 20 players has been chosen for next year’s inter-county match in Orkney. They are: Christine Jamieson, Ava Sim, Inga Woods (AHS); Linda Irvine (Challengers); Louise Fraser, Emma Gray, Sarah Grogan, Louise Kelly, Kirsti Leask (Kinetics); Marie Clark, Fiona Dally, Dawn Manson (Kiwis); Vicki Henderson, Louise Moar, Jennifer Thompson, Hazel Uren (Loungers); Eileen Robertson (McEwans); Linda Thompson (Unst); Sarah Kay, Catherine Williamson (Whalsay).