Simcocks Blue Eagles,17 Marbree Missfits A,39
POTM Becky Dunne for Marbree Missfits A
Both Simcocks and Misfits started well, showing great movement around the mid court, with some timely interceptions from Sophie Howland (C) and Bayleigh Mitchell (WA) feeding the shooting duo of Katie Quine and Katie Reubens for Simcocks. Misfits worked hard to defend their circle with Lisa Quillam and Becky Dunne (both Missfits) applying pressure to thwart any chance of conversion, and Simcocks started to fall behind on score.
Simcocks defence of Emma Wilcox and Fi Clark-Wilson made some strong interceptions throughout the game but the Missfits attack (Lauren Ellison and Dani Murphy) were on form for Misfits receiving great feeds into the circle and missed very few of their shots and converted quickly.
Simcocks made changes in the second quarter moving Fi Clark-Wilson to attack and Alex Johnston to GD, which was a positive switch with the team taking time to reset and be a little more patient with the ball, but it still wasn’t enough to even the score. Simcocks were further forced to make changes at the end of the 3rd quarter due to injury, with Helen Mason moving to WA, and although Simcocks continued to make great interceptions, their shooters were not as accurate and allowed Misfits to gain the upper hand and chalk up more conversions. A great game to watch, with free-flowing netball and end to end action. A well-deserved POTM going to Missfits GD, Becky Dunne.
Manx Gems Sapphires, 21 Castletown Spaniards,35
POTM Kerry Kelly for Castletown Spaniards
The last time Manx Gems Sapphires (sponsored by Island Tyres and Autocare) and Castletown Spaniards met in October, Sapphires lost by just one goal! Spaniards had a new addition to their line up this time with Sarah Curphey as Centre. Although Sapphires opened the score line first, Spaniards soon capitalised with some good down court passing and on form shooting by GS Zoe Ludford-Brooks and GA Sara Collister. The first quarter ended 10-5 to Spaniards.
The second quarter saw GD Ruth Kennish work tirelessly, however, Sapphires GS Trudi Halsall and GA Alex Wilson-Spratt managed to gain some turn over in the circle and then capitalise on them. Alisha Fitzgerald (Sapphires) came on as GA for the second half and was exquisite with her shooting. Unfortunately for her, opportunities were limited. Defensively, Hawkins and Crowe worked well but Zoe’s height in the circle gave her the advantage on the few rebounds available. In the third quarter, Sapphires Centre, Dawn Quinn worked hard for interceptions but did receive a caution for not maintaining her distance around the circle edge. It was Spaniard’s well-timed passing, notably WA Kerry Kelly, that gave them a lead of 26-16 going into the final quarter. Whilst there was some good play by both teams, Spaniards extended their lead in the final quarter finishing 35 - 21. Player of the Match went to Kerry Kelly (Spaniards)
Ramsey Black,23 Manx Gems Emerald,34
POTM Tori Leece for Manx Gems Emeralds
The Northerners took to court with determination in what was always going to be a tough match. Taking an early 2 point lead against the division leaders, Ramsey Blacks made good use of their GA ‘stand in’ Kitty Treanor who linked well with centre courts Amber Pullen and GS Bryony Callow-Thomas. True to form, Manx Gems Emeralds did not rest on their laurels and soon found flow, matching goal for goal before turning over Ramsey’s possession and extending their lead, for a 7-10 quarter finish.
Some quarter time changes for Gems which proved pivotal, strengthening the defence just enough to capitalise on the few missed opportunities in the Blacks circle. Equally Emeralds’ shooters, Alisha Fitzgerald and Aailish Kelly seemed to make easy work of finding the net despite some relentless pressure from Emily Craig and Gabby Sullivan.
With a 12-20 half time score, Ramsey shuffled their team a little in a bid to reduce the margin. Both teams’ passion was evident as both tension and pace grew. The Blacks fought for every loose ball and this showed as they matched the leader’s goal for goal, drawing the quarter to an 18-26 close.
Gems took to court for the final quarter with an 8-point lead and despite the northerners pulling back with 2 successive goals, bringing the difference to within 6 points, Emeralds quickly regrouped, making the most of opportunities. Ramsey’s Ava Brown and Sullivan’s valiant defensive efforts in the D, turned over possession several times but Gems had the edge in this match earning their 12th league win and ensuring their undefeated run remained intact. A well-deserved POTM going to Manx Gems Emeralds, Tori Leece.