Big wins for leading three in netball’s top flight
Last week’s first division netball matches saw good wins for Kinetics, Loungers and Team Rowley while improving Unst drew with Wastside.
Kinetics 47, Challengers 21
The Kinetics players were delighted to welcome back Sarah Grogan who has been out for several months with an elbow injury. Challengers, on the other hand, were missing a few key players.
The opening quarter was fast and furious with a flurry of wild passes, finishing at a close 8-4. In the second quarter Kinetics settled and started to convert centre passes and interceptions. Good linking play from defence to attack made it hard for the Challengers team to find their form.
Linda Irvine, Diane Thomson and Maree Simpson worked tirelessly in the Challengers defence to keep Kinetics shooters Grogan and Claire Morris from attacking in the circle.
Kinetics’ Louise Fraser and Ann Marie Kennerely played well in supporting the two shooters, feeding accurate speedy passes. This was crucial to Kinetics taking the lead at 22-11.
Challengers took to the court with two changes, Simpson moving to WA and Kathleen Jamieson playing WD. Both players did well to support Lynsey Pearson in trying to get the Challengers ahead.
Challengers shooters Louise Anderson and Louise Johnson worked together to create space. However, Kinetics’ defensive play of Andrea Tait, Lesley Spence and Amber Inkster put a stop to the pressure and with some excellent well-timed interceptions from Tait and linking team work from defence to attack, Kinetics managed to pull further ahead.
Challengers reshuffled again and Kinetics brought on young Hayley Tulloch in her debut for the town team, replacing Claire Morris at GA. The last quarter was very much end-to-end with both teams playing well.
Credit must go to Sarah Grogan for her faultless shooting and her supporting play with Hayley and Claire. Hayley settled in to the game well and converted her shots to gain the valuable points. For Challengers this was their best quarter of the game but they were unable to overcome Kinetics and the final score was 47-21.
Players of the match were Lynsey Pearson for Challengers and Andrea Tait for Kinetics.
Loungers 35, Whalsay 16
It took a few nervous minutes before the first goal of the game was scored. When they started to come, the scores were relatively balanced between each team. Loungers then started to pull ahead to end the first quarter 9-4.
The second quarter saw Loungers defenders Jennifer Thomson and Louise Moar take full advantage of the Whalsay rebounds, which restricted their shooting opportunities. Diane Thomson pushed the ball away from the defending end to Vicki Henderson who gave good support across the court and played closely with Hazel Uren to make accurate passes to the shooters.
Lara Kay played well for Whalsay and linked easily with Catherine Williamson at centre and her shooters Vaila Kay and June Williamson. At the other end of the court Whalsay defenders Sarah Kay and Natalie Polson kept tight on their players and didn’t make it easy for the Loungers shooters to get free for passes. Ingrid Nicol supported her defenders well when they made their interceptions.
The third quarter saw both teams with new wings, Beth Leslie coming on as WD and Andrea Irvine as WA for Whalsay. Loungers seemed to settle a bit more, then started to play at their own pace. Errors on both sides saw the ball move from one end of the court to the other. Loungers managed to retain their lead and ended the third quarter 10 goals ahead.
The ball was predominantly in the Loungers attacking end in the final quarter. Ava Sim and Stella Oldbury were on top form, netting goal after goal, which pulled Loungers ahead 16 more goals.
Players of the match were Hazel Uren for Loungers and Natalie Polson for Whalsay.
Team Rowley 48, Supernova 15
Supernova began the first quarter slowly; they had shooting opportunities but failed to score. The TR defensive partnership of Fiona Dally and Brenda Leask were picking up all rebounds and loose balls allowing Team Rowley to storm to an 11-0 lead in the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Supernova shooters Liz Haining and Stephanie Keith found their shooting form and got some points on the sheet. However, Team Rowley continued to play well with good linking passes down the court from Julie Kirkness and Karen Mackay in to the shooters and some impressive interceptions from Lauren Smith. The half-time score was 21-5 to Team Rowley.
Rowley changed the team formation round for the third quarter. Nova found it hard to link their passes and Rowley defenders Dally and Morag Fox were keeping the pressure on, making interceptions and picking up rebounds. Rowley shooters Dawn Manson and Marie Clark continued to get goals and the third quarter saw TR extend their lead to 36-9.
The final quarter saw Rowley cruise ahead with veterans Morag Fox, Dawn Manson, Julie Kirkness and Anne Woods keeping the pressure on Nova. Supernova never gave up but Rowley continued to play well and build on their lead.
Players of the match were Stephanie Keith for Supernova and Julie Kirkness for Team Rowley for her solid centre-court play.
Unst 38, Wastside 38
Newly-promoted Wastside were looking forward to getting back on to court after injuries and the snowy weather put off their last two games. All their players were fully fit again and both teams were raring to go in a game which looked like it was going to be a close encounter right from the first whistle.
It took a moment for both teams to settle into the game and play was scrappy for much of the first quarter. Both the shooting circles saw plenty of action with all the defenders determined not to let the shooters have an easy time. However, Catherine Henry for Wastside was taking any chance given to her and took her team into the lead 11-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The game began to settle down during the next period of play and Unst began to come back into the game with every one of their players fighting for any loose ball or pass. The determined play from the Unst lasses paid off and they ended the first half narrowly in the lead by only one point at 30-29.
Both teams came out on court for the second half, realising that this wasn’t going to be an easy game to win. Everyone found an extra bit of energy for the remainder of the match and the play continued to be fast and furious.
Neither team could get a break to take them into the lead with the rest of the game a point for point battle right to the final whistle. The game finished a draw which was probably a fair result as both teams put in enough effort not to go home the losing team.
Player of the match awards went to Martha Clark for Unst and Catherine Henry for Wastside.
For division two reports and tables, see this week’s Shetland Times.