Teamwork pays off in Roses College Netball

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College B League

Saturday’s netball began with a match between the winners of each university’s the college B league. Representing Lancaster was of course Fylde, who took on York’s Derwent College.

Fylde’s team’s captain, Fran Walker, admitted that the girls are a little nervous, but ready! Derwent’s captain Sally Caldicott was confident that her squad’s strong team bonding would bring them success.

It was Fylde’s centre to start, and within the first minute, the ball had soared through the net. A cracking start for Lancaster!

However, Derwent got into their stride quickly, and packed in several goals in a row, demonstrating some slick teamwork in the D. Their attack was particularly strong, and their shooting on point. They soon stormed into the lead.

Another member of the Fylde team on the sidelines pointed out the home advantage at work. Lancaster’s college teams are accustomed to outdoor courts and outdoor nets, and so the shooters had to rapidly adapt to a different kind of target.

By the end of the second quarter, York’s Derwent had secured a strong lead of 24-7. Fylde were not disheartened, telling me that Derwent are actually a really nice friendly team. Good to know there were no hard feelings!

By the third quarter, however, Fylde really got into the swing of things! The play flowed better, and their attack became suddenly powerful, with ace shooter and vice captain Cassie Bode making some awesome shots.

Fylde won the third quarter, the score now standing at 26-14 — an impressive comeback, but a little too late. Derwent stole the win, with a final score of 32-21. A frustrating loss for Lancaster, who were confident that a win would have been possible if they had been playing up to standard from the beginning.

Derwent attributed their success to keeping a steady pace from the beginning, excelling in teamwork, and having particularly strong shooters.

 

College A League

For the College A team match, it was Fylde again playing for Lancaster, and this time, York’s James College. A James girl tentatively asked me ‘why are there so many of them?’ and I informed her that both Fylde teams were here, because Fylde basically own college netball at home.

Fylde’s captain Bethany Cross was buzzing for the game to start, ‘we’ve been training against the university teams, and managed to draw against the seconds! We are as prepared as we can be.’ Meanwhile, James’ captain boasted a strong defence, and an exceptionally good season in the leagues.

The game began in a frenzy, with both teams putting away two goals each in quick succession. By the end of the first quarter, the score was 11-9 to York’s James college. This impressively high goal count reflected the furious pace and competitiveness on the court.

James had an exceptional goal shooter with a significant height advantage, who proved very tough competition, making it difficult for Lancaster to overtake.

At the end of the 2nd quarter, James were still an inch ahead, at 19-17. The teams were so evenly matched, it may well come down to stamina. Which team would be able to maintain such a rapid pace?

James finally faltered, and by the end of the third quarter, Lancaster had the edge at 29-28! Both teams worked in overdrive for the final 15 minutes, both fiercely determined.

The noise from the support reached a crescendo, as the tension became unbearable! And then — a massive anti-climax. The final whistle blew, with James and Fylde drawing at 36 all.

However frustrating for the teams, it seemed a fitting result, and reflective of the teams’ equally matched skill throughout.

 

College Select

The final college match was College Select. The teams were made up of the best players from across all the university’s college teams. This means both teams faced the challenge of playing with people they don’t normally play with. Although the girls were highly skilled individuals, teamwork and strong team bonds were key in this game.

I spoke to the teams to find out how they had prepared for the match. The Lancaster team had been training together since the Easter holidays, and had been playing against Fylde for practise. The York team casually told me about their ONE training session, but seemed happy with how the girls had gelled.

In a competition that surely depends on building relationships, I could already guess at how the game would go. Indeed, Lancaster dominated from the outset, showing far better fluency and cohesion. It was plain to see that York’s players were talented, but they had not achieved the fluid motion demonstrated by Lancaster.  The end of the first quarter finished 10-5.

Appearances count a good deal towards team bonding, and Lancaster had borrowed Bowland’s red dresses to appear professional and united, topped off with red war paint. York had turned up in any old sports gear, and a baggy Roses T shirt. The second quarter ended 17-10 to Lancaster.

GA Anna Davies proved an awesome shot, racking up the goals for Lancaster. By the end of the third quarter it was looking like a certain win for Lancaster, at 29-13!

At the final whistle, the score stood at 33-21. York put up a good fight in the final quarter but were no match for Lancaster! Exhausted but happy, Lancaster gain a well-deserved point towards the Roses totals.

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