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No sport coaches would have had a happier Roses weekend than Abby Pridmore, the coach of the three ladies’ netball teams. All of her teams – firsts, seconds and thirds – managed to beat York by 48:21, 31;29 and 21:13 respectively. The firsts team dominated the whole match with a very strong attack; nobody from York was able to stop Katie Adam from scoring at will under the net. Lancaster took advantage of York’s poor form in the first quarter and led 9:3 at the close of the first 15 minutes. The Red Rose continued their strong performance in the remaining quarters of the game. Remarkably they were only two points away from scoring 50 points in the 50th Anniversary of the Roses which would have meant a score rate of a goal every 1.2 minutes.
Clearly, the Red Rose had better attack and defensive performances in the game which were crucial to their victory over the York’s firsts netball team. Pridmore believed that Anya Shahnazari’s performance in the game was the key to their victory and she deserved to be the player of the match.
The second team didn’t win as comfortably as the firsts, but they still managed to win by a deficit of two points over York. Pridmore expected a win before the game as she believed that her team trained really hard before Roses, telling SCAN: “The team are getting better and better and the girls should be in good form”. The White Rose proved they were a tough force, but Lancaster managed to lead after the first half with the score tightly positioned at 20-16. The fourth quarter was the closest quarter in their Roses competition as it allowed York to come back strongly and nearly steal the game from Lancaster’s hands.
The strong attacking force and good connection among the players were the vital elements behind the victory over York. Despite the fact that the team was under pressure during the final minutes of the game, the players showed their calmness and determination to stop York from scoring. At the end, their mental ability won them the game and contributed to winning a crucial two points in Roses.
The third team started the university level competition with a win over York at the Sports Centre thanks to a 34-23 victory. Both sides failed to establish a strong hold of the game, as the score bounced between the two teams at the end of the first quarter. Pridmore believed that an excellent defence and reliable attack won her team the game with ease toward the end.
Mandy Carter and Hannah Leeson were in top form during the whole game. Their solid performances led the team to victory with a double-digit winning margin at the end. Although York managed to come back strongly at the latter part of the game, they never provided any real threat to Lancaster. At the end, the Red Rose celebrated the win and also one of their member’s birthdays.
The umpires’ effort should not be shadowed by the players’ marvellous performances. Lizzie Holland, one of the umpires believed that being an umpire in the Roses was not a difficult task as both sides respected her authority even though the order of the crowd was a bit chaotic. The Lancaster netball team managed to win all their games thanks to the effort by their coach, Abby Pridmore, who was managing the team on the sideline of the court. Her effort brought her an unforgettable weekend at the Roses. It is now time for the Red Rose to keep their form and prepare for next year’s BUCS league and Roses. It will be a very difficult tournament for them as they will have to play away in Yorkshire and carry a lot of expectations from the supporters. Saying that, this weekend they have shown their qualities and proved they are more than capable of completing another hat trick next year.