BUCS Northern 3B
Having narrowly lost out to Durham Seconds in their last BUCS league outing, York Netball Firsts got back to winning ways following a resounding 43-25 victory against Leeds Thirds. York provided a dominant display of both attacking nous and defensive discipline, with the win ensuring that York remain very much in the title hunt.
York began with obvious intent with their urgency to swiftly get points on the scoreboard displayed through goal shooter, Emma Loft’s early goal. In what was an impressive opening by York, wing attack, Rachel Turner was displaying her expansive passing range which split Leeds open time and time again. York were ultimately reaping the rewards of such unrelenting and rapid movement while Loft and Grace Clarke demonstrated impeccable shooting accuracy in the front of the hoop. While the Black and Gold’s offensive play was certainly exceptional, so too was their stoic defence. Goal keeper, Lottie Hyett was leading from the back as she produced numerous crucial interceptions to quash any opposition threat. Soon after, wing defence Mayowa Ogunremi was on hand to foil a threatening Leeds attack. Turner was combining well with captain Hollie Dixson in the middle of the court and a clever bounce pass from Turner carved open another opportunity, which Loft duly converted. Such was York’s dominance, it was no surprise when the first quarter finished 12-5 in favour of the home side.
The second quarter continued in a similar fashion to the first. Grace Clarke scored the first goal of the quarter following a well executed pass by Dixson. Clarke’s selflessness in front of goal was clearly apparent, as time and time again she offloaded to Loft who reliably provided the necessary finish. A series of obstructions from Leeds made life somewhat easier for York, yet their graft was plain to see. Incisive cross court passing from Turner and Dixson was complimented by tenacious defensive work by Alex Kilbridge, Ogunremi and Hyett. Meanwhile, Clarke was becoming ever more sprightly in the oppositions’ D as she became the obvious outlet for both Turner and Dixson. York were therefore able to easily extend their lead to 23-12 as the whistle sounded for half-time.
The third quarter saw an substitutional switch as Chloe Cannon replaced Ogunremi at goal defence. Cannon was called into immediate action as Leeds scored early on as they sought to find a foothold in the game. York may have been guilty of easing off somewhat, as Leeds soon began to grow in confidence having finally found their passing game. However, after a tentative start, the White Rose soon rediscovered their form and ominously began to increase their advantage. On one such occasion, an opportunistic interception by Hyett sparked a lightening fast counter attack that found Loft in a matter of seconds, before she scored with consummate ease. Despite being a more closely contested quarter, the whistle sounded with the home team leading 32-18, a testament to their resilience.
With Grace Baker replacing the impressive Loft at goal shooter, York attempted to finish the match in style in the final quarter. It was Baker, in fact, who ensured the first point of the quarter went to York as she easily fended off her marker and calmly tossed the ball through the hoop. It was the quarter in which Turner’s offensive qualities were on show for all to see, as she stole the ball off the finger tips of her marker and set up Baker again to score. Defensively, York’s marking was faultless meaning any attempted Leeds attack soon broke down before it had chance to gather momentum. York were, therefore, able to ease to a comfortable 43-25 victory over Leeds as they seek to challenge for title success this season.
After the game, York’s delighted captain, Hollie Dixson spoke to Nouse saying, “I think absolutely every single one of our players today played outstandingly the whole way until the end. I am so proud of all of them and I really think we have got an amazing shot this year of coming out top once again in our league.”
York: Loft, Dixson (C), Turner, Kilbridge, Hyett, Ogunremi, Clarke. Substitutes: Cannon, Baker
Player of the Match: Rachel Turner