No surprises as top netball teams win

THERE were no positional changes in netball’s division one this week as AHS drew with Whalsay and Loungers got the points against struggling Supernova. Unst kept up the pressure in the second division with another good win while leaders Lerwick Juniors and Ness both recorded victories in division three.

Division One

Supernova v Loungers

Loungers were awarded the points as Supernova were unable to field a team.

AHS 25, Whalsay 25

With three players unavailable, AHS had to call on coach Valerie Morrison to fill the vacant WD position. Whalsay also welcomed Carina McClatchy, home on holiday and in their starting seven at WA.

Whalsay opened the scoring from their centre pass and the score remained at 1-0 for several minutes. Play continued with both defences having the advantage over the shooters – Sarah Kay looking particularly sharp for Whalsay.

Emma Leask and Louise Birnie were also putting pressure on the Whalsay circle players and prevented Vaila Kay and June Williamson getting into their stride. Slowly but surely AHS began to take their chances and at one stage were 6-2 up. A steal from Whalsay and then converting from their next centre brought the score to 6-4 to AHS at the end of the first quarter.

The second period turned out to be a low-scoring affair with both teams intercepting in all areas of the court. An interesting battle was now under way in the mid-court with both centres, Catherine Williamson and Inga Woods, evenly matched, and having to up their work rate as shots were missed and play went from end to end. AHS held strong and the half time score stood at 11-8 in their favour.

A change to the Whalsay defence saw Sarah Kay moving to GK and Natalie Polson to GD. The switch proved effective as Whalsay began to claw back the deficit. AHS, however, were not going to give up the lead without a fight and battled well to keep their nose in front with Sasha Wood finding good space around the circle to feed the shooters. The score was 17-16 going into the last quarter.

The final quarter remained extremely close with goal for goal being scored and there was relief all round when the final whistle blew with the game ending in a draw. A highly competitive game was played in great spirit from both teams.

Sarah Kay, showing some superb defensive skills, was a worthy player of the match for Whalsay while Valerie Morrison was voted player of the match for AHS.

Division Two

Unst 45, McEwans 25

Unst started at a quick pace, the passes connecting well through Alice Mullay, and they raced into an early lead to end the first quarter 13-7 ahead. The second quarter saw some determined play from McEwans with some good defending from Shona Moncrieff but they just couldn’t get that final ball into the circle, Unst’s Linda Thomson making some great interceptions. Unst were nine goals in the lead at half time.

Unst again came out strongly in the third quarter. The McEwans’ solid marking forced Unst to use their defence to help the play right up the court. However, Claire Priest was finding the Unst net well and they extended the lead to 33-19.

The final quarter was played at the same pace as the start with fast passing by both teams up and down the court. Joanne Stewart for McEwans was forced to shoot from distance by Kathleen Johnson. Despite passionate play from McEwans, Unst continued to control the game and won by 20 points.

Player of the match for Unst was Claire Priest while Joanne Stewart took the honours for the McEwans.

Division Three

Ness 23, Mavericks 20

The match started evenly with good end-to-end play and tight marking from both sides. With nothing to separate the teams and only a few scoring chances for each side mostly taken, Ness edged ahead to lead 6-5 by the end of the first quarter.

Good defensive play by both sides during the second quarter kept the goal tally down. The centre third of court was kept busy with the flow of play but there was still nothing to choose between the teams. Ness defensive duo Ruth Christie and Vaila Irvine worked hard to minimise the chances for Mavericks shooters which had Ness 11-7 ahead at half-time.

The second half resumed at a fast pace with tight marking and determined play in the centre third of the court. Both teams were working hard and making full use of the court to grab every opportunity available. Consistent shooting from both sides saw the score 19-12 at the end of the quarter.

Mavericks started the final quarter strongly, trying to close the deficit with Ness making several costly defensive errors. The last few minutes were tense and closely fought but by the final whistle Ness had still managed to hold on to their lead.

Player of the match for Mavericks was Amanda Gray and Alice Smith stood out for Ness.

Lerwick Juniors 31, Burra 7

Lerwick Juniors started with confidence but Burra were determined to put up a fight with Erica Leask playing well in centre court with good movement and accurate passing. However, the shooting duo of Caitlin Watt and Sadie Tait for Lerwick Juniors proved a challenge for Burra, allowing them to take the first quarter 8-1.

For the second quarter Burra made some changes to their line-up with Heather Henry changing from GA to GD and Bethany Laurenson coming on at GA. Henry made some good interceptions and put pressure on the Lerwick Juniors shooters throughout the game. Young Natalie Jamieson also impressed with her determination and industry but the score at the half-time whistle was 16-5.

In the third quarter Lerwick Juniors put on Amy Gair at WD and they began to pull away, with Burra finding it hard to cope with the pace of the attack.

Burra never gave up, and in the final quarter they defended well to limit the Juniors scoring to only four goals. However, at the other end of the court the Juniors defence of Alice Unsworth and Katie McMillan did not give them many scoring opportunities.

Players of the match were Natalie Jamieson for Burra and Alice Unsworth for Lerwick Juniors.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.