Tuesday 11th October: Craven Dragons 17 – 8 Fast Glass
Hi everyone – it’s Annie The Netball Superstar (I’m not sure I’ll get used to being called that!) reporting a bittersweet start to the winter season. A fantastic opening match saw us run out 17-8 winners against a hard-working Fast Glass Processing side. But, sadly, it was managed without our star Goal Attack, Tess Yates, who injured her knee last week after an unfortunate jump and landing. (Tess, you need to practice this more when you’re back!)
We all wish Tess a speedy recovery.
Like Mother Like Daughter
Stepping into Tess’s place was Livvie Sheryn. And, yes, you might well recognise the surname – Livvie is my daughter (it is awesome playing netball with your daughter) and she shot like a true Dragon.
The versatility of our players is one of the Dragons’ great strengths as it gives us lots of options for every position. As this was our first match in Division One it was an unknown quantity for us, and Livvie handled the pressure of playing against a whole new defence brilliantly.
A First-Half Lead
The game got off to a confusing start as Fast Glass only fielded 6 instead of the normal 7 players. But to their credit they worked really hard to make up the shortfall. However, in true Dragons style, we kept our heads and stuck to our game plan.
Some great tips and interceptions saw us disrupt play in the centre court, with Hannah Baker and Emily Summersgill, as ever, awesome in defence. The Fast Glass shooters tried to get into good shooting positions but we stayed on top thanks to some speedy runs in defence and interceptions by the Wing Defence (yours truly – I have my uses…).
A half-time score of 8-4 meant we needed to focus on keeping possession and playing at our pace – despite the shape of the game shifting as Fast Glass tried everything to disrupt our efforts. It sounds obvious but the opposition can’t score if you have the ball. This lack of possession also forced Fast Glass to work extra hard to defend, meaning our legs were fresher as the game wore on.
Second Half – A Tale Of Two Sarahs
Our work rate was impressive right to the end – not that a Dragon ever gives up! Some clever play by Sarah Feather at Centre and Sarah Houfe at Wing Attack (a Dragon virgin playing her debut) meant we maintained possession and our attacking playing style.
Our shooting was awesome. Livvie and Jayne Whitehead worked well together, creating more space for themselves in the second half. They were able to hold their nerve and accuracy despite a strong defence, steering us to victory.
So, a great start to the season, despite Tess’s injury. The Umpire’s Player of the Match was… drum roll, please… me! I didn’t pay her, honest! It can only have been for some good leaps and tips as my passing accuracy was decidedly off tonight.
But, as coach, my Player of the Match was Sarah Houfe (aka ‘Sheep’ – another one for the don’t ask pile!). Sarah kept her head even when the play was so unpredictable, and her sensible tactical positioning enabled her to pick up loose balls – several of which were thrown by me!
Next week, another new opponent – more of the same please, Dragons!