Lonsdale and Pendle set the standard for college netball

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Lonsdale 25 – 16 Pendle

Lonsdale made a flying start to the college netball season last Friday, beating Pendle College 25-16.

After a late start due to a lack of floodlights and umpires the match started at an incredibly fast pace, which was maintained throughout all four quarters of play.

It was Pendle who showed early signs of dominance, scoring three times in the first three minutes of the match and claiming possession for most of the first quarter. The fast pace initially seemed too much for the Lonsdale team who made silly mistakes, losing the ball to skilful Pendle interceptions.

However, Lonsdale eventually managed to put themselves on the scoreboard after seven minutes. Despite having goal opportunities throughout the first quarter, the Lonsdale goal attack and goal shooter were unable to overpower the Pendle defence. Pendle ended the first quarter with a 7-3 lead.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Pendle quickly re-established their control but it wasn’t long before Lonsdale’s retaliation came fully into force.

The change of the Lonsdale centre, Amy Harvey, to goal attack made a considerable difference to their offensive play. Harvey won three goals early on in the second quarter, putting Lonsdale firmly back into contention. The Lonsdale defence also showed marked signs of improvement, preventing the previously strong Pendle attack from increasing their lead.

Despite a further three goals before half-time, Pendle were now struggling against Lonsdale’s increasing goal tally and ended the second quarter 10-13 down.

Pendle’s re-positioning of Captain Ruth Taylor from wing attack to centre in the third quarter initially seemed to boost morale and, after an early goal, the team looked to be back on top. However, Lonsdale were quick to respond and firmly squashed any hopes of a Pendle come-back, scoring nine goals in the third quarter.

Lonsdale’s ability to evade marking and find space was instrumental to their success and although Pendle’s frustration was rewarded with a goal at the end of the third quarter, Lonsdale’s 22-12 lead was looking more and more unbeatable.

Pendle started the fourth quarter with new found vigour, scoring twice shortly after the whistle and maintaining possession. Unfortunately this lease of life did not last long and clumsy play scuppered any further goal attempts. With Amy Harvey still playing powerfully at goal attack, the Pendle defence were unable to prevent another barrage of successful shots and Lonsdale extended their lead to 25-16 by the final whistle.

Despite the goal difference, both teams were quite reasonably matched throughout. It seemed that Pendle’s major fault was their lack of consistency which was exploited by the determined Lonsdale side.

A special mention has to go to Lonsdale’s Amy Harvey who was responsible for turning their game around, creating countless goal opportunities as well as scoring. After the match, Harvey was “really happy” with the result and said that “Pendle were really good opposition who fought for everything.”

Pendle Captain Ruth Taylor put the result down to the “brilliant Lonsdale defence.”

All in all, Friday showed a promising start for both teams and if the quality of this match is anything to go by, the college netball season looks set to be very exciting indeed.

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