Newcastle has had a very successful run of games leading up to the 1st team match with the 4th and 3rd teams taking solid victories, whilst the second team only just missed out on a win. The clubs great performance up to that point in the day created a great atmosphere in the sports centre, as lots of supporters surrounded the court. But despite the rowdy audience, both teams remained calm and collected during the warm up allowing themselves to mentally prepare for the battle ahead.
“both teams were willing to fight to the death to take the win”
From the first centre pass it was clear that both teams were willing to fight to the death to take the win. Newcastle’s centre court started out strong with Captain Georgia St Rose staying close to her player at wing defence, trying her hardest to block Northumbria’s feeds into the D. Hattie Grant also moved with Georgie to apply pressure on Northumbria’s attack and force errors. However even though Newcastle managed to force the poly into making errors, they struggled to pick up the loose balls meaning the Northumbria kept possession. The team’s difficulty to convert their gains in defence, combined with Northumbria’s unbelievably accurate shooting meant that the poly took a fast lead and by the end of the first quarter were ahead 3-11.
“Northumbria were applying contestant pressure on every player and the Poly chanting continued to grow louder and louder”
As the 1’s returned to the court after a team talk they knew that they needed to step up their game in order to have a chance to lower the goal difference. Emily Hollingworth really stood out in the entire game as she dominated on court against one of Northumbria’s best players. She managed to tip very strong feeds made by the poly into the D but Newcastle were struggling to move the ball up the court once they gained possession. Northumbria were applying contestant pressure on every player and the Poly chanting continued to grow louder and louder. With five minutes left in the quarter the score had built to 7-25 as Newcastle were unable to tip the poly’s strong feeds into the attack. However the team continued to keep their heads focused thanks to Hollie Joyce who despite the incredibly hard job she had against the defence managed to score whenever she was able to receive the ball in the D. Newcastle fought until the last seconds counting down to half time as Emily Hollingworth made a clean interception that stopped the poly from increasing their lead even further.
“Emily Hollingworth made a clean interception that stopped the poly from increasing their lead”
By half time the score stood at 7-31 to Northumbria which was obviously disappointing for Newcastle. However when they came back to play for the third quarter they kept their heads high and didn’t allow the poly’s immature songs and jabbing elbows to draw away their focus. The line up the team altered slightly with Farah Hassan moving out to goal defence, a change which worked well as she offered lots of support down the court making strong passes to Hannah Dearden at wing attack, allowing Newcastle to keep challenging the poly. However Northumbria managed to seek out every feed that was misplaced and stole back possession. This meant that their lead continued to increase meaning that going into the final quarter Northumbria were ahead 8-48.
The team drastically changed in the final quarter with Steph Garfield coming on as goal shooter whilst Hannah Dearden swapped with Hattie Grant and centre, and the defence reverted back to Farah Hassan at goal keeper. Hattie Grant at wing attack asserted herself on court as she made constant drives and gave strong feeds which created more shooting opportunities. Hollie Joyce also stepped up in the final push of the game as she marked her goal defence tightly allowing her to make steals in attack. This final fight meant Newcastle were able to score six goals, however this was not even a dent in the goal difference and the final whistle blew leaving a Newcastle loss of 14-66.