Netball seconds’ promotion hopes suffer Newcastle setback

Wednesday’s 46-39 defeat against Newcastle allowed the North-East university to stretch their lead at the top of BUCS League 5B to six points

Photograph by Sam Newsome

Photograph by Sam Newsome

UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE FOURTHS 46
UNIVERSITY OF YORK SECONDS 39

BUCS League 5B – Wednesday 2nd December

In their toughest game of the season yet, York netball seconds lost out to league leaders Newcastle fourths 46-39, thus denting any promotion hopes. The York side, who were weakened by the absence of several players and were hence without any reserves, fought hard, but were outshone by Newcastle, who capitalized on York’s weaknesses at the crucial moments.

Following on from the disappointment of York firsts’ loss earlier in the afternoon, the seconds started the match with determination and liveliness. Their impressive weapon of the zone was put into practice with ferocious vigour at every opportunity and worked effectively from the first, with the centre court players successfully intercepting pressurized Newcastle passes. However, York did not make the most of their possession and the ball was often quickly returned to Newcastle through wayward passing and footwork. Newcastle exploited York’s, often basic, errors and at the end of the first quarter they held a three-goal margin.

Newcastle bossed the second quarter, which York will reflect on as their poorest period of the match. Communication problems amongst the York players, coupled with Newcastle latching onto ways to combat the zone, led to a breakdown of the York defence. Meanwhile, the attack had problems finding space and were often obliged to make difficult feeds in and around the circle. The Newcastle defence were able to snatch in a few interceptions and the ball was immediately returned to the other end for conversion. At half-time Newcastle had secured a pretty unassailable eight-goal lead.

York’s half-time talk served to remind them just what was at stake and the rejuvenated team attacked consistently throughout the remaining half. They played their game and kept the netball simple yet effective, using short sharp passes to avoid their earlier mistakes. A total of 28 goals were notched up in the third quarter alone as the score rate hit nearly two a minute and both teams fought hard to take this crucial match. Had the match been the second-half alone, York would have scraped a victory, but they did not succeed in overcoming the massive deficit in goals remaining from the earlier quarters as Newcastle continued to impress. However, as Sophia Sahin, the Captain, stated, despite their obvious disappointment, York will draw positives from the match and come back strongly for the return leg at home next week, which is sure to be a must-watch match.

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