NUNC’s 1sts enjoyed their first win of the season by thrashing Birmingham, whilst there were also important wins for the 3rds and the 4ths. Netball expert Abi Dodwell reports:
Newcastle University 1st vs University of Birmingham 1st 45-14
Newcastle hit the ground running as their centre court players Hattie Grant and Fiona Dewar made great drives all down the court making lots of turnovers. Immediately Newcastle took the lead and finished the first quarter up by four goals. Their game began to improve even more in the second quarter as Newcastle didn’t concede a single goal whilst the shooters Frankee Fenn and Hollie Joyce nailed shot after shot taking the score to 22-4. By the third quarter Newcastle were playing with confidence, but this meant that occasional errors occurred when passing the ball. However the brilliant defence by Annie Bolle-Jones and Emily Hollingworth meant that Newcastle were still able to maintain their strong lead going into the final quarter. With their first victory in sight the team spurred each other on as they continuously applied pressure and didn’t let their shooting accuracy drop. The girls truly played like the fantastic team they are and played, most importantly, for each other.
Newcastle University 2nd vs Liverpool John Moore University 1st 28-67
Newcastle came on court ready for a fair game, which unfortunately they were not given. But despite the opposition’s brutal play and the umpire’s inconsistent rulings, the team continued to play their own game. In the first half the centre court worked well together with Chloe Tindale supporting her team and Poppy Briggs making strong drives. However Liverpool’s attackers were ready to bulldoze any player which got in their way and on occasions did. Although Liverpool were leading going into the second half, Newcastle kept a positive attitude with Captain Laura Brady supporting her team both on and off the court. The team’s positive attitude allowed shooters Olivia Gordon and Steph Garfield to keep up their great play in attack and although Newcastle were unable to make up the loss from the first half they left the court smiling (and happy to still be in one piece). With a result that some would see as an all-round loss, the 2nds found that it only strengthened them as a team as they look forward to more challenges like this in the future.
Newcastle University 3rd vs University of Leeds 4th 52-44
Newcastle began well as they adjusted to Leeds forceful style of play and managed to take an early lead. But due to small errors, Leeds managed to pull the score back and the quarter finished 12-13 to Leeds. But Newcastle came back fighting. It was neck and neck throughout the second quarter with both teams determined to get a turnover, but Leeds were unable to make one and by half time Newcastle were back in the lead. In the second half, with Chloe Marshall moving to centre, Newcastle created good movement as a team and were working together much more fluidly. This great play alongside Molly Macleod’s accurate shooting meant that Newcastle stretched their lead further giving them an eight goal lead going into the final fifteen minutes. They kept up their momentum and managed to secure another win for their season and take them one step closer to promotion this year.
Newcastle University 4th vs Leeds Beckett University 4th 38-35
It was a close first quarter for the 4ths as both teams stayed level until the final few second when Leeds just manged to take the lead. But Newcastle’s attack raised their game in the second quarter with Eli Glover putting up lots of shots and giving Newcastle a solid seven goal lead. In the second half Newcastle continued to pick up their momentum with with Ellie Folger and Poppy Doorbar running circles round their opponents. But with Leeds putting on fresh legs in the final quarter Newcastle began to make small errors and lose crucial turnovers. However the lead which they had already accumulated kept them safe and allowed them to take the game.