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Home victories for the Lancaster University Second and Third Netball teams mark a successful week for University Netball. The double victories see the Thirds sit comfortably in third place in their league ,whilst the Seconds currently sit top of their table on goal difference. Both of the days matches saw Lancaster triumph with incredibly hard fought victories, the Third’s match finishing 39-32 whilst the Second’s finished 37-32.
The first match of the day saw the Third’s face off against MMU Cheshire Seconds (a team which had beaten them in their last encounter). The opening minutes saw the two sides exchange goals with Lancaster exploiting the height advantage offered to them in goal shooter Carla Bayliss to secure an early advantage going into the second quarter. Lancaster’s ladies began to put their foot on their accelerator in the second quarter with goals from goal attack Rosie Spencer adding to the tally as Lancaster began to dominate in attack through some excellent passing and movement. A series of obstructions in the shooting circle hindered the MMU defence throughout the game and allowed the Third’s to capitalize. The Thirds also found themselves with acres of space plenty of times in the match leaving the MMU defence in disarray. With the game as close as it was and MMU never far behind, there was all to play for in the fourth quarter, yet Lancaster held it together to seal victory.
Captain Aimee Brown had this to say at the end of the game; “It was a tough match but I’m so proud of the girls who fought for every ball. Having lost the first time we played them last term, this win shows how much we have improved and how ready we are to beat York at Roses.”
The second match of the day saw the Lancaster Seconds face the University of Liverpool Thirds in another thrilling yet closely fought encounter. The game began with a series of missed chances on both sides but with a slightly calmer pace compared to the first game. Some great pressure saw a fantastic interception by Richardson lead to a goal by Captain Holly Archer which brought the first quarter to a close with a respectable 8-4 score line. Some sharp shooting by Richardson kept Lancaster in the driving seat yet Liverpool were never far behind causing Lancaster to step up their defence.
Much like the first game, it became apparent that there was all the play for going in to the final quarter with Liverpool less than ten points away. Lancaster looked worried as Liverpool began the final quarter with successive goals slowly clawing back to touching distance. The home side kept their composure to close out the game making use of their obvious advantage in attack and defence to bring the final score to 37-32.
After the game, Captain Holly Archer had this to say to SCAN; “being a later game in the season and having had little practice for a while, it was a slow start but we started to get used to each other again. It was a challenging game but we dominated in the second half.”
The Seconds next game sees them face Liverpool Hope University Firsts at home while the Thirds are away to the University of Cumbria Seconds. With both sides in promising positions in their leagues, victories in the remaining league fixtures are crucial.