Netball firsts come out fighting in close encounter

The netball first team beat Sheffield Hallam in a tough match at the English Institute of Sport on Wednesday afternoon.

With a number of Uni’s first team injured it looked as though it was going to be an interesting match between the two rivals.

Hallam were the first team off the mark scoring straight from the centre pass and defending well to keep Uni out.

Uni kept applying the pressure and responded by scoring every time Hallam gained a point. Hallam’s defence tried hard to keep Uni out but their opponents’ efficient and impressive passing proved too much for them to handle at times.

Uni edged the first quarter by one point after some very skilful shooting from the goal shooter. With the score being so tight it led to a very exciting second quarter.

It was Hallam again that showed more promise as play resumed with their wing attack in particularly good form, and it was only some excellent defending from the Uni goal keeper that prevented them from capitalising on their good start to the quarter.

A superb shot from Uni’s goal attack put them back on level terms for the second quarter and spurred them on to score a further three times in quick succession.

In a moment of drama down the other end of the court, Hallam’s centre collided with their goal keeper, injuring both players.

The Hallam centre then inexplicably ran off court to the confusion of the rest of the players and was found and brought back by one of her team mates. This led to play being suspended for nearly five minutes.

Uni did not let this affect them, however, and went on to score twice more before half time. With the half score 15 – 12 in favour of Uni, there was all to play for in the second half of the match.

It was Uni who were to start the better out of the two teams in the third quarter with some very clever movement which gave Hallam no time to think.

Hallam had failed to score five minutes into the quarter thanks to forceful defending from Uni but they did not let this deter them and they soon came fighting back scoring three times in quick succession.

The match continued at its highly energetic pace into the final quarter and it would have taken more than bullying tactics for Hallam to emerge victorious.

Hallam started strongly again but Uni’s magnificent passing around the circle combined with the goal shooter and goal attacker in great form meant that Uni edged the final quarter 5 – 3.

Hallam looked depleted at the end after such a fiercely contested match. Uni’s captain Olivia Mason, who played through an injury, was ecstatic with the result.

She said: “It was a great game and with so many players injured we still managed to struggle through. I think we wanted it more than they did and we really fought for the victory here today. We can’t wait for Varsity now. We are going to smash them.

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