Route 1 Connections 22-41 Simcocks Blue Eagles
On paper, this would be a tough match with Blue Eagles a very strong team this year up against a Connections that historically would be expected to win. But with Connections short of players through injuries and players off island, it was about how much damage limitation Connections could manage. They called players up from their third division Volts team and these players played excellent netball under pressure.
Blues took to court with a good mix of youth and experience with U19 players Bayleigh Mitchell and Alex Johnstone showing why they are in the Manx Rams squad.

Blues started strong to lead 12:6. New Connections combinations took time to bed in with some lovely circle drives by division 3 player Katie Willson at wing attack. However, Alex at goal defence and Bayleigh at centre linked well to move turnover ball back up court to Blues shooters, Jess Clucas GA and Fi Clark-Wilson at GS.
The second quarter saw defence from both teams step up their intensity keeping the scoring low at 8 all. Emma Wilcox at GK along with Alex for Blues working hard to deny Connections GS Nic Spencer but she got some amazing goals. The match was still close at half time, Blues leading 20:14.
Connections Sarah Morgan, GK, made some fantastic tips and rebounds – she is normally GS in her regular team. Morgan, Jemima Shepherd at goal defence and Ali Haddow, WD, harried the Blues attack but the shooting of Fi and Jess in particular allowed them to increase their lead by the end of the third, 30:19.
Despite tiredness creeping into the last quarter, both teams continued to put effort in all through the court. Blues Jess Clucas continued to move like a pro and shot well under defence pressure from Island player Jemima Shepherd. A number of unlucky shots skimming the ring for Connections allowed Blues to pull away further for the win. However, Connections managed to hang in for the bonus point.
Another well deserved potm for Simcocks Blue Eagles Jess Clucas.

Thompson 2 25-27 L&H Toomraiders
Thompson 2 started the game looking to secure their first win of the season, however Long and Humphrey Toomraiders had other ideas, taking the first quarter 6 goals to Thompson's 3. Long and Humphrey introduced Kym Hicklin, GA and Olivia Hughes, Wd to the game in the second quarter, with Thompson retaining the same starting 7. Thompson picked up momentum during the second quarter but Long and Humphrey continued strong. The game went goal for goal, with both teams scoring 10 goals apiece. Ending the second quarter 16-13 to Long and Humphrey. Going into a tight third quarter, no changes were made to the Thompson squad and only one change to the Long and Humphrey side bringing on Nikki Jarvis, GD. The third quarter saw some very tired legs, with neither team making the headway they wanted. Long and Humphrey just managed to extend their 3 goal lead to 4, ending the quarter 21 to Thompson's 17. With all to play for in the last quarter, it was clear both teams needed to inject some energy into the game, with both teams making some much needed changes. These changes provided both teams with some fight, resulting in a very exciting last quarter. With the continued excellent shooting from Thompson's GS, Gabby Divall and some good through court defense Thompson managed to bring the difference to just one goal. However, despite Thompson's best efforts, a determined Long and Humphrey continued to sustain their lead and pushed the difference back to two, winning the game 27-25. An exciting game with both teams performing well, POTM Gabby Divall, Thompson 2.

Absolute Scaffolding Black 23-41 Spaniards

Both teams started strong with Absolute Scaffolding getting the scoring underway. The first 3 centre passes from each team were converted with some sharp shooting from Sian Hignett (Abs Scaff - GS) and Sara Collister (Spaniards - GA). Some great defence from each team saw some turn overs in the latter of the quarter with a score of 9-8 to Spaniards at quarter time.

Some defensive changes for Spaniards in the second quarter paid off as they turn over a number of Absolute Scaffolding centre pass to score themselves. Spaniards also score from their own centre passes but Absolute Scaffolding soon respond by scoring from their own centre and some great defensive work from Emily Craig (Abs Scaff - GD) is used to tighten the score once again. Spaniards had clearly found their flow with great defensive pressure all over the court, picking up loose passes, and making their hard work count with goals. Half time score Spaniards 21 - Ramsey 12 with a special mention to Spaniards defensive circle of Breesha McLaughlin and Ruth Kinnin.

Spaniards start strong after half time scoring the first 4 goals, keeping the pressure on Absolute Scaffolding. Some crisp passing from the Absolute Scaffolding attack sees one pulled back and some great defensive work from Rachel Hudson (Abs Scaff - GK) sees Absolute Scaffolding in possession. Sloppy passing however allows Spaniards the chance to attack once again which is converted with some great shooting from Sara Collister (Spaniards - GA). Shooting has been fairly faultless for both teams when the opportunity has presented itself. The pressure applied from Spaniards sees their lead extended to 12 goals (31 - 19).

The final quarter saw Absolute Scaffolding making their only change of the game with Colette Gambell (WD) and Nicole Pressley (C) switching positions. Some strong defensive work from Ramsey, followed by some great movement up court allows for more sharp shooting from Sian Hignett. Spaniards centre, Kerry Kelly, regains possession a number of times allowing them to go on the attack with some quality shooting from Sara Collister (GA) and Sophie Bettridge (GS) making Kerry’s hard work count. A poor back line pass from Spaniards sees a Lisa Collister (Abs Scaff - WA) interception which Sian Hignett scores. No player had a bad game but Spaniards consistent pressure and crisp attacking proved the difference with a final score of 41 - 23 to Spaniards.
Player of the match Sara Collister.

Simcocks Silver Eagles 26-23 SMP Ballasalla D
It was evident from the first whistle that both teams wanted to win this match. Balla D applied plenty of pressure onto a youthful Simcocks side to turn over the ball, ensuring they were the first team to convert. Tight defence from Ashley Skelly and Alice Hodgson-Cummings from Simcocks kept shooting opportunities for Balla minimal, however it was Balla who took the lead in the first quarter at 10-6. Simcocks were not willing to give up without a fight, and with a strong midcourt duo of Millie Kinving and Claire Mason who worked tirelessly to get the ball into Simcocks attack, it made plenty opportunities for the Silvers to settle and continue converting goals. Jo Hicks was sinking goals from all over the Balla shooting circle which ensured that the game was tight – with the majority of quarter 2 and 3 going goal for goal. Going into the final quarter at Simcocks 19 – Balla 18, both teams had to keep their cool. Balla worked tirelessly throughout the final quarter to prevent Simcocks from breaking away and holding their lead, but with stellar shooting from Helena Allen and Niamh Coole there weren’t many opportunities for turnovers, but Claire Crowe’s tight defensive work ensured that any missed shots were hers. Mid court pressure was continued to be applied by Balla, but Simcocks had more left in the tank in the final few minutes and eventually emerged the winners. A very tightly contested game from both teams – a great match to watch.
POTM Claire Crowe, SMP Ballasalla D