Unlucky James made to rue missed chances

James were a tad unlucky to miss out on their share of points in College Varsity, as they fell just short of Hild Bede College

College Varsity 2014

Images: Petroc Taylor

James were a little unlucky to lose their netball tie against Durham’s Hild Bede, but will rue a string of chances to snatch victory throughout the game. The home side started strongly and took the lead in the opening minute, but were quickly pegged back as Hild Bede attacked with incision.

In a topsy-turvy first quarter, James looked lively and after showing some good attacking prowess, they grabbed their second and third goals of the game. However, after a stutter start, Hild Bede soon found their feet and some slick teamwork saw them build up a handsome 9-4 lead at the end of the first period of play.

In the second half, James seemed determined to hit back, and some excellent play between Abi Smith and Sam Hall saw them claw back an early goal. Once again, however, Hild Bede looked confident in possession of the ball and quickly found the basket another three times to make the score 12-5 in their favour.

After Hall then scored twice for James, Hild Bede added another two of their own, before Hall did brilliantly to connect with captain, Ellie Redwood as they engineered another four baskets for James before the end of the quarter. However, as the quarter progressed, the away side hit form and easily found the basket a further eight times to hold a 20-11 lead at half time. This gave James a difficult task to get back into the game, which would ultimately prove to be costly.

Another bright start in the third quarter gave James some hope, with Smith and Nina Pullman playing particularly well as they scored another four times to reduce the deficit to just five. The York team’s defending also looked much more resolute, with goalkeeper Anisha Wilmink putting in a superb effort alongside defender Rebecca Pay-Savage.

A poor refereeing decision then cost James another goal when they were gathering momentum, and this seemed to work in Hild Bede’s advantage as they began to stretch their lead once more. However, James refused to lie down and combining generally solid defending with meaningful attacks, they ensured that they trailed by just six at the end of the third quarter, with a score line of 26-20.

In the final quarter, James were aware that they needed to chase the game, but luck was not on their side as a number of chances went begging. After a solid start with Elinor Abraham and Naomi Sheldon working together well, the score stood at 27-22 to Durham. However, after this point, the away side ran away with it and demonstrated their skill as a team, quickly extending their tally up to thirty for the day.

Despite a good James fight back to score a handful of further goals, the final quarter belonged to Hild Bede, and they eventually closed out the match with a score line of 38-30. Although James had worked hard to find a way back into the game, they struggled to overcome the challenge which they had given themselves early on.

Speaking after the match, captain Ellie Redwood told Nouse: “They’re an excellent side; and really lovely girls, actually. It was a really lovely, fun match. We threw away a lot of silly balls, but I’m really proud of the girls.”

James: Wilmink, Pay-Savage, Cheang, Redwood, Smith, Hall, Pullman, Purves, Abraham, Sheldon, Akerman

Player of the match: Sam Hall

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