Thompson 2 vs SMP Ballasalla A
Despite Thompson’s successful foray into the world of ‘Fast5’ at the pre-season tournament, the opening match of the 2018/19 season was always going to be a tough one as they faced up to last year’s runners up, SMP Ballasalla A. Combined with a 9am start, this was a punishing test of lungs, legs and resilience, and certainly not the gentle ease back into netball some might have hoped for! While spirits were high, Thompson were still finding their feet as a team, missing key shooter Pip Cross, and with Lesley Patterson and Zoë Shimmin making very welcome returns to Premiership and Island netball respectively. Across the court, despite changes in their defensive line-up, Balla proved they are very much a force to be reckoned with, with Ashleigh Cowin (GD) and Ciara Jacobs (GK) making life very difficult for the Thompson attack, although Gwen Williams (Thompson GA) proved her mettle despite being the youngest player on court. Nonetheless, Balla were unstoppable: Ashley Hall (GA) rarely missed a shot and Kate Tebay (GS) was, as ever, a failsafe option, either under the post or for a quick and effective switch from Ashley. Rhian Evans (Balla WA) both controlled and created play effortlessly in the midcourt, earning her a well-deserved Player of the Match and unanimous praise from Thompson afterwards for her sporting attitude and demeanour on court. Ballasalla look set for a strong season ahead, and Thompson will certainly be back with enthusiasm to fight another day!
Final score was 59-11 to Ballasalla.
PotM Rhian Evans, Ballasalla
Route 1 Turbos vs Castletown Pink
The first match back of the season is always one filled with nerves and excitement. This was particularly the case for Route 1 Turbos playing in a new division and with new combinations of players. It therefore took time for the Route 1 team to settle against a consistent and reliable Castletown side. Route 1’s centre, Fiona Clarke-Wilson and Alice Willoughby (WA) worked hard to ensure that the ball made it’s way to shooters Ealish Baxter (GA) and Elena Reid (GS) who moved well together in the circle. Castletown’s Michaela Robinson made a number of great interceptions to prevent the Route 1 shooters from converting too many centre passes into goals.
Moving into the second quarter, Route 1 although still getting to grips with playing together, began to build momentum. Ruby and Rose Turner worked well as a defensive duo, holding off a determined Castletown attack in the form of Louise Skelly (GS) and Lisa Corlett (GA). Route 1 finished the second quarter with a 6 goal lead.
The third quarter saw some changes for Turbos with Helen Cooper coming on at WD and Alex Honour moving to GD. Erin Keggin took the GA bib and Baxter moved to GS. At centre passes Castletown’s Adele Bridson (WD) was always ready to offer her support to Sarah Curphey (C) who worked well with Emma Kniveton (WA) to bring the ball into their attack. Route 1’s Honour (GD) worked tirelessly to pick off interceptions where she could, often culminating in a goal for the Route 1 side. Route 1 were in a strong position going into the final quarter with a 16 goal lead.
Going into the final quarter saw some great play with everyone on court working hard. However, towards the end of the match both teams started to tire and the previous goal lead proved too much for Castletown to bridge resulting in Route 1 Turbos emerging from the match as the winners 37-20.
PotM Alex Honour, Turbos
Manx Gems Emeralds vs Thompson 4
On Sunday 23rd September the first netball match of the season between PWC Manx Gems Emeralds and Thompson 4 was held at the NSC. In the first quarter, both teams started strong but Thompson took the lead, at the end the score was 4-10 to Thompson. In the second quarter, Manx Gems Emeralds fought back by scoring 11 goals making the score 15-18. This was as a result of superb shooting by Jess Hawkins (GA) and Lucy Rice (GS). In the 3rd quarter, Thompson continued to dominate with some exceptional play from their GS and GA positions which increased their lead to 31-22.
Thompson continued with their form into the final quarter, despite some great defending from Emeralds and in the end, the final result went 39 - 27 to Thompson. Both teams played exceptionally well throughout and with Thompson being one of three teams promoted into this division, they will be pleased with their first match.
PotM Shelley Roberts, Thompson.
SMP Ballasalla D vs Absolute Scaffolding Red
The girls are back in force! With it being the first match of the season, both SMP Ballasalla D and Absolute Scaffolding Red took time to find their feet and truly click, but once they got going, there was no slowing the pace of their game down. The first quarter ended on an even 2-2 which meant instantly both teams knew the game was really on and began applying great pressure onto one another throughout the second quarter. Totalling a competitive score of 6-5 to SMP.
A particular player who stood out for her defence efforts was Katie Banks for SMP. Another being Absolute Scaffolding’s GK, Lindsey Corkill, who really stood her ground in the goal circle. Unfortunately for Absolute, GK took a tumble during this heated second quarter (which was infact quite an injury!). Therefore, with a strong player down this gave SMP an advantage in the shooting D. And quite literally, both Ciara (GS) and Rebecca (GA) worked their wrist magic with repetitive goals, which is also thanks to their players for setting them up very well by driving that ball down the thirds and immediatly into prime shooting positions. Third quarter was incredibly fast paced, a few changes of players took place for Absolute with a speedy C who stepped in. However, despite their best efforts they did not quite manage to close the gap or SMP’s flow, with 13 more goals being scored.
Both teams attitudes remained positive and counted for a competitive final quater, with an ending score of 29-11 to SMP. This match reflected a motivated effort from all players, well done. What a brilliant and exciting kick off to the season.
PotM Sophie Betteridge, Ballasalla.