This week’s intramural netball fixtures saw the Globe Trotters, who are second in the league standings, face the current third placed side Pollies Dollies on a drizzly Tuesday evening in the sports centre. Thankfully, the dreary weather did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm and energy of either team, as spectators braved the conditions and were rewarded to a thrillingly fast-paced and competitive game.
The Dollies took the first centre to start the match, taking to the court in green, led by their captain, Beth Jacomb at wing defence, against the geographers in yellow. The Globe Trotters got off to a strong start, stealing the ball from the Dollies and scoring to give them the lead. This first goal was soon followed by another, the opportunity coming courtesy of Nathalie Spink’s interception of a green back- line pass in the geographer’s attacking third, making it 2-0 in their favour within the first few minutes.
Strong defensive play by the Globe Trotter’s centre court defenders, Emily Fanning and Libby Murphy, made life difficult for the Dollies during the centre passes, which meant that their defence was often called upon to receive the pass. This tactic seemed to work well for them as it allowed their attackers time to set up and gave centre, Nicole Stoppani, time to move the ball down the court with the help of WA, Brooke Penman.
“The Globe Trotters got off to a strong start, stealing the ball from the Dollies and scoring to give them the lead”
Tireless defensive work by the Dollies, who have really gelled as a defensive trio, was not enough to stop the Globe Trotters, however, as they extended their lead by another four goals, bringing the score to 6-0. Globe Trotters’ goal shooter, Lally Sharman, showcased her shooting prowess as she racked up the score for the geographers with poise and effortlessness, a technique that Dollies captain Beth Jacomb praised after the match as being nothing less than ‘impeccable’.
The sixth goal marked a turning point for the Dollies, as they finally found their stride and began to make a mark on the scoresheet. Goal attack for the Dollies, Emma Briggs, moved well around the circle with shooter Shaadeh Ghambari and scored their first goal of the match. A second goal, as a result of a turnover in their defensive end, followed soon after.
“The sixth goal marked a turning point for the Dollies, as they finally found their stride and began to make a mark on the scoresheet”
A goal from Sharman and two more by Briggs made the score 7-4 by half time, quite the comeback from the Dollies, who seemed to have found their rhythm and looked like they were back in with a chance. Half- time brought about some changes for the Dollies, with a re-shuffle at their attacking end, whilst the Globe Trotters stuck with the same starting seven.
Both teams started the second half with renewed energy and vigour, meaning that the speed of play got even faster. Yet, as a result of the increased momentum, both teams struggled to retain the accuracy of passes that they’d had in the first half. This led to plenty of interceptions by centre court players on both sides, preventing the ball from even entering the circle and keeping the score-line as it was at half time for several minutes.
The goal drought of the second half was ended by Sharman, as she increased the Globe Trotters’ lead to 8-4, but the Dollies weren’t going down without a fight. The new shooting duo for the Dollies of Helen Ladds and Bethan Davies, played the circle beautifully with great feeds from Stoppani at centre and Briggs at wing.
“The goal drought of the second half was ended by Sharman, as she increased the Globe Trotters’ lead to 8-4, but the Dollies weren’t going down without a fight”
Interceptions by the Globe Trotters’ defenders, Murphy and Katie Hunter, allowed the yellows to continue their relentless attack. Centre, Sophie Battison, took charge by co-ordinating the execution of near-perfect textbook centre passes and feeding the ball straight to Spink on the wing, who offloaded it into Sharman and Sarah Todhunter’s capable hands in the circle.
The closing minutes resulted in a goal frenzy, as both teams grafted hard to gain some final points, but it was the Globe Trotters who triumphed in the end, maintaining their comfortable lead over the Dollies, leaving the final score at 14-9. Speaking to the teams after the match, Globe Trotter GA, Todhunter admitted they “upped their game” in the second half and had to “work hard” to stay ahead in such a “close match”. Jacomb, captain of the Dollies agreed, saying it had been their “most challenging”, but also “most enjoyable’ game so far”.