Netball firsts and thirds win points for Uni but seconds fall just short

NETBALL FIRSTS

University of Sheffield 37-29 Sheffield Hallam

The University of Sheffield netball firsts crushed Sheffield Hallam University 37-29 sealing a precious point for the Black and Gold army.

After University’s thirds won and seconds lost, the pressure was on the first team to beat their opponents.

The stage was set in front of a packed crowd, but with University having already beaten Hallam convincingly twice in the league this season, they were arguably under more pressure to perform in their biggest game of the season.

And after an even start, University showed their mettle in the second and pulled into a four point lead from which Hallam never recovered.

The match started at a furious tempo with each side scoring three goals inside six minutes, but University then got their noses in front thanks to some crisp finishing.

A tight first quarter finished 8-7 to University, and the nerves were increased straight after the break as Hallam drew level.

Both sides scored three goals each before play had to be stopped after a collision between a University and Hallam player.

The clash spurred University on and they soon went on a scoring spree notching six goals with Hallam only replying twice.

University ended the quarter in perfect fashion, scoring two goals inside the remaining thirty seconds meaning they went in at half time leading 19-13.

Their momentum increased as play restarted again with University racing into a nine goal lead, although Hallam managed to score five in succession to give the fans in maroon hope.

University wing defence Natasha Dawson was four times penalised for encroachment as Hallam took a penalty, but then instigated some fine breaks resulting in three more goals for University at the end of the third quarter.

The score was 28-24, a solid lead, but University could not afford to become complacent as their thirds had pulled off a break-taking fightback from being four goals before the fourth quarter.

Any fears of a similar comeback from Hallam were soon extinguished as University started the final quarter in a terrific tempo and notched four goals, eventually leading 32-25 with five minutes left.

With the outstanding Dawson and some strong goalkeeping Hallam were unable to muster any kind of fightback, and after Hallam missed several shots, the University faithful could celebrate a comprehensive 37-29 victory which meant the overall netball score in terms of Varsity points gained was 2-1 to the Black and Gold.

NETBALL SECONDS

University of Sheffield 33-36 Sheffield Hallam

Sheffield Hallam University held off a late University of Sheffield rally as they won the Netball seconds 36-33.

Hallam led by seven points at one stage, but were nearly pegged back by University in an exciting finish at the EIS.

Hallam started well and raced into a three point lead before University opened their goal scoring account.

University goal shooter Ailsa Hickey was twice put off by Hallam’s goalkeeper, who started the game extremely well.

The game was being dominated by Hallam, and they went 7-3 up when their goal shooter converted after a clever low pass from the Centre.

With the first quarter drawing to a close Hickey made amends for earlier as she managed to nick two late goals, the second with only five seconds left.

The second quarter started like the first with Hallam dominating possession and scoring twice more to put pressure on University.

But after five minutes, University responded and equalised midway through the quarter. Hickey scored again to put the black and gold in front, as the University fans sensed another comeback similar to the thirds earlier.

University ended the quarter strongly and led 17-15 at the break after Hickey again showed composure under pressure from the Hallam keeper.

Disaster then struck in the early minutes of the third quarter as Hallam came back strongly and raced into a four point lead. University replied once, but Hallam showed great determination and kept forcing errors from University, resulting in a 27-23 lead going into the final quarter.

University looked dead and buried at 34-26 down, but then started their comeback as Hallam grew nervous. Hickey again converted point after point, and reduced the arrears to only 35-33 with a minute left on the clock.

But despite being roared on by the fans, University couldn’t get control over the ball, and when Hallam scored a late goal it was game over.

NETBALL THIRDS

University of Sheffield 40-33 Sheffield Hallam

The University of Sheffield’s netball thirds produced a stunning comeback to beat Hallam thirds 40-33 at the EIS in the Netball Varsity opener.

University dominated the first quarter, but couldn’t shake Hallam off after some good finishing from their goal attacker Sharrock.

Despite University leading 7-4 with three minutes left, Hallam finished the quarter strongly and the teams took their first break with University having a slender 7-6 lead.

University started the second quarter strongly, but Hallam then took over the game. They went from trailing 12-10 to lead 19-14 as the contest went on.

University did manage to sneak a late point, but the dominant Sharrock replied immediately, resulting in a 20-15 lead to Hallam at the halfway stage.

Hallam increased their lead further in the third quarter, taking what looked to be a decisive 27-19 lead, but after some neat link up play from University’s attacking players, they reduced the arrears to 27-23. Both sides managed two more goals setting up the final quarter with the score 29-25 to Hallam.

The fourth quarter started evenly, but University then stepped up the tempo leaving Hallam chasing the ball.

With the scores poised at 32-32 with eight minutes remaining and the University fans bellowing themselves hoarse, University pulled away scoring point after point thanks to some clinical finishing.

Hallam were blown away by University’s pace, and the comeback was completed in some style after neat play set up a superb goal in the last minute, meaning University ran out 40-33 winners.

 

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