Shock and delight were the initial reactions of York netball Captain Tess Olsen as her firsts team won 49-22 against Lancaster on Saturday afternoon.
The victory was all the more remarkable because York started the match as underdogs – Lancaster play two leagues above York in the BUCS system – and so it was little wonder Wing Attack Cesca Dessain appeared apprehensive before the game, fearing the team would disappoint the assembled mass of spectators in the Tent.
Afterwards, it was a different set of emotions: “The crowds made it today for us, they truly carried us through!” said Dessain. If there were misgivings about facing asuperior outfit on paper, they were well hidden as the side came out energised and asserted their dominance in the early stages of the match.
Leading 10 – 6 at the end of the first quarter the York women seemed to tire, allowing Lancaster to draw alongside York in the second quarter at 12-12. Goal Attack Sarah Pycroft, however, seemed adamant to keep on shooting accurately and the lethal combination of her and Center Liz Carol shattered Lancaster’s revival, meaning York were up a promising 21- 14 by the third quarter.
The crowds by this time were really backing York, whose willingness to push themselves to the limit increasingly made the difference. The vocal support was taking its mental toll on the Lancaster side and their Goal shooter missed more opportunities, a contrast to the unerring Emily Harington for York.
With a sizeable advantage engineered, the last quarter saw the York girls willing and able to demonstrate the extent of their skills, spraying some amazing passes across the court. Goal Keeper Jenni Williams told Nouse post-match: “This is simply the best end to the season, the support blew me away! More sport at York can only be a good thing.”