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Lonsdale 13-12 Furness
Prior to the game, the Furness Netball A team sat comfortably in fourth position in the league with Lonsdale battling it out with Fylde at the top. A win for Lonsdale would see them top of the league by a single point due to Fylde’s recent shock defeat to Pendle, but with Fylde retaining a game in hand. Victory was therefore a necessity for the south west side.
Furness won the toss and began the game quickly losing possession of the ball to Lonsdale. The first quarter was for the most part a reflection of the entirety of the game which saw either Furness slightly in the lead or the two teams drawing. Furness scored the first goal with some excellent play from Furness goal attack Lauren Heaven. Soon after, Lonsdale equalised.
This pattern continued with Lonsdale finding themselves 4-3 down at the end of the first quarter. Lonsdale had many chances at goal but narrowly missed them. The play between Lonsdale’s captain Jade Goveia, and wing attack Lucy Sharkey, was instrumental in bringing the ball forward by some good passing and movement. If the Lonsdale attack hadn’t missed some sloppy shots, they would have definitely been in the lead.
With a few changes to the Lonsdale team, the second quarter began. Within the first few minutes Lonsdale were dominant but were unlucky to miss some shots. Some great link up play between captain Goveia and goal defence Immie Birchall saw an interception and a brilliant pass down the line lead to another Furness goal.
Lonsdale maintained possession after some slow play from the Furness wing and attack. They regained their form with a goal from goal attack Sophie Millington, and then another shortly after. Furness goal shooter Heidi Nagaitis then scored twice for her team having rarely missing a single shot. She proved to be a great threat to Lonsdale throughout the game. The second quarter finished 7-6 to Furness.
The third quarter began with an immediate goal for Lonsdale despite the wind and rain. Both sides exchanged goals throughout with the quarter finishing 10-10. Furness frustratingly kept losing possession in the middle of the court from the wing defence and centre.
The final quarter would prove to be very intense. The pace of the game quickened with every player knowing that both sides had a good chance of winning, and that victory would be achieved by a narrow deficit.
In the last minute, the game was tied at 12-12. Nobody could have predicted what would have happened next. Lonsdale began to look dominant and in the last seconds, the ball entered the Lonsdale shooting circle for the winning goal of the match. As soon as the ball went through the net, the final whistle blew. Players, umpires and spectators looked on stunned, as Lonsdale won the match 13-12.
Lonsdale captain Jade Goveia had this to say to SCAN; ‘I was really happy and excited when Lonsdale stole the victory, the game was really challenging and one of the hardest we’ve played.’
The game definitely had to be one of the tensest matches of the netball season. There was exceptional play from everybody as the ball constantly travelled back and forth with Furness only slightly having the upper hand. There must be huge sympathy for the Furness team who looked like they would win, or at least draw.
Furness Goal Shooter Heidi Nagaitis was named player of the match for her exceptional shooting throughout the game.