Hucclecote Comets vs Crossbow 18th November 2017
This Saturday saw Comets come out to top of the table Crossbow. The starting line up saw Megan at GS, Emily GA, Mitzi as Captain as WA, Darcey at C, Tee at WD, Harriet at GD and Katie at GK, supported by Georige and Alex on the banch.
This week, again the target was to come out strong with intensity against top of the table Crossbow. Comet’s had an exciting and powerful start, and demonstrated the fire needed to contend against this well established and experiencedsquad.
Comet’s played with speed and strength, but too many poor passes in centre court, allowed Crossbow to take an early lead, and build upon this over the 15 minutes. Defensively Harriet and Katie combined well, causing Crossbow’s to force the error on a number of occasions, however Crossbow were still able to put up 20 shots, compared to Comet’s 11.
Comet’s finished the 1st quarter down 13-8.
Mitzi and Emily were tasked with providing more variety on an attacking centre pass, and to work to create more space on the first phase ball. Defensively we could recognise that the shooter was not as consistent and had missed all of her attempts at goal from long range, so Katie was challenged to keep her high up the court and not allow the depth to post. This quarter also saw Georgie move into WD to try and bring more pressure through on the first phase ball from their centre pass. Georgie instantly had an impact and helped penetrate the ball through to the attack, linking well with Harriet and Darcey. Crossbow however, were successful in keeping Darcey and Mitzi away from the circle edge, again forcing long balls that were easy to steal. Yet Comet’s were determined, and worked hard to close the gap. This was a fantastic quarter where the intensity really lifted and Comet’s secured a run of five goals. It was 27-25 at the end of the second quarter.
At half time the squad were delighted with the turn aroundagainst this strong team but were having to work extremely hard. Combinations remained the same and Comets looked determined to take the lead. The third quarter was another fantastic display of netball, only being let down by too many poor passes through court (10 in total). However Katie and Harriet were really causing disruption to the flow of Crossbow’s game and by the end of this quarter, Comets were leading by two goals.
The squad were looking and feeling tired with the amount of energy exhausted into taking the lead. However, Tee felt unable to come back into play with overstretched hamstrings. With both shooters scoring 100% in the third quarter, Alex agreed she was happy to cheer from the bench rather than go into the highly pressurised situation that had arisen, but the instruction was to minimise poor decision making. Poor passes were still the issue, and Comet’s needed to display mental toughness to hold onto the win.
The fourth quarter started with immediate disruption from Crossbow’s player after Comet’s scored the first goal, challenging the umpire whose centre pass it was. The umpires wrongly stopped the game to double check and get into discussion with the on court player. This interrupted the flow Comet’s had sustained and Crossbow’s challenge had not been wrongly presented. The umpires had not made an error in centre pass, but an error in stopping the game under a player’s unsportsmanlike act of challenge. Crossbow were determined and the shooters put on an outstanding display under pressure, scoring the most goals this quarter and missing fewer. This put Comet’s under pressure and within minutes to spare moments of weakness began to creep in. Poor decision making accompanied by far too many poor passes all through court, allowed Crossbow to bring the score back to level. A nail biting last few minutes saw Comet’s mental strength take a knock and allow Crossbow to steal the win by 6 goals.
This was so incredibly disappointing after what was definitely the squads best two quarters of the season. The end of match reflection was tough, because the girls had demonstrated their best netball as a squad to date, but after the hard work and the success of the second and third quarter, they had given the game back to Crossbow.
However it highlighted to this young squad that they can be competitive with all teams within this division, and some of the earlier losses to other teams, should have been secured as wins.
An exciting match, but a heart break and steep learning curve for all.
Crossbow’s player of the match – Harriet (GK, GD)
Players player of the match – Harriet (GK, GD)
Coaches player – Katie (GK, GA)
Shooting stats: Megan – 92%, Emily – 72%