Pendle must regain fighting spirit to win


Bowland 12 – 7 Pendle (so far…)

Wednesday afternoon proved to be none other than a chaotic mess for the university’s netball teams. The Lancaster firsts had to cancel their match as their opponents had broken down on route, whilst the college game between Bowland and Pendle had to finish early due to court booking issues.

Because the lights on the outside courts are not working, college netball in particular finds itself being extremely limited. Teams are currently having to find space whenever and wherever they can in order to continue the Inter-College (IC) netball league.

This haphazardness was seen on Wednesday in the sports centre, when the match in hand was asked to finish early so as the space could be used by those who had booked it.

Nevertheless, from the netball that was on display it was clear to see that, irrespective of the disruption surrounding the teams, both sides played with sheer determination and college pride.

Both teams currently lie at the bottom of the IC league with Bowland edging just ahead of Pendle in point difference.

Pendle began the game with the first centre pass where they employed short passing amongst their attackers to get the ball quickly into the D.

The shooters initially seemed unable to execute their attacking efforts as they missed three shots in a row. Pendle’s Goal Attack, however, managed to regain possession from the Bowland defence and was finally able to score.

Following the Bowland restart, Pendle displayed some good marking against their counterparts and limited Bowland to bounce passes in order to get the ball into their own D.

Pendle were able to  intercept but then failed to make much from it as they carelessly rolled the ball upcourt.

When the ball rolled over the sideline, the consequent sideline pass opened up the players and provided Pendle with an attacking opportunity. However, scrappy passing amongst allowed Bowland to capitalise on a backline throw which saw the ball back to their shooters who even the scoreline, 1-1.

The rest of the first quarter remained closely matched with Bowland only slightly taking the lead when a long shot from their Goal Shooter saw the score to 3-2.

The second quarter began with a sloppy Bowland centre pass. No player appeared ready to claim the ball and so Pendle seized the opportunity.

They passed the ball down the centre of the court and got it straight to their scorers. After an intial miss from the Goal Attack, she was redeemed by claiming the rebound and then finishing off the point.

However, from this point onward Pendle did little to help themselves. The players bunched up and failed to make the most of the space given to them, giving Bowland ample opportunities to do so. It was still a fairly evenly fought battle between the two sides but the Bowland shooters made more use of the ball when in the D and saw the score through to 6-4 at the half time stage.

The third quarter began with a determined Pendle eager to offset the small Bowland lead. Their first centre pass was direcetly sent to the attackers who quickly got it into the D for the Goal Shooter to score.

Despite this initial enthusiasm from the Pendle side, Bowland were able to counteract this comeback. By playing the ball up the sides of the court, the Bowland team were able to confidently deliver the ball to the attackers where the shooters succeeded in their attempts at net.

As their score increased, Bowland gained an assertiveness over their Pendle counterparts and saw the third quarter through to 12-7.

The final quarter of the match is set to be played at another time, and if Pendle regain the drive they had at the start of the match and captialise upon all opportunities in the D they could certainly cause an upset in the Bowland camp. However, if the latter go into the next match with the same confidence they were playing upon at the end of this encounter – a Pendle come back might prove a lot more difficult.

Bowland Captain, Victoria Barrett, commented: “I was so pleased with our performance. It was a really enjoyable game to play and as the game was continuing our confidence increased which was reflected in our score. Ruth Taylor (Pendle Captain) and I are sorting out what to do next but I think the likelihood is to finish the last quarter. We’re due to play them again at the end of term so hopefully that’ll happen without any of the issues we had in this game.”

“In terms of the court situation, it is frustrating to say the least. So many games are now trying to be played on a Wednesday afternoon which is just turning messy over problems with umpires and games over-running. I just hope the lights get fixed as quickly as possible so the league can go back to normal.”

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