Netball firsts return to winning ways against Teeside

York firsts defeated Teesside 31- 25 in the most exhilarating netball game so far this season on Wednesday afternoon…


Kukri BUCS Netball – Northern Conference Women’s 4B, Wednesday 12th November 2008

York firsts defeated Teesside 31- 25 in the most exhilarating netball game so far this season on Wednesday afternoon. The heavy defeat by 54 points to 27 at Huddersfield last week wasn’t enough to knock the confidence of the team – ‘it simply improved us’ said Wing Attack Cesca Dessain – and the side returned to winning ways in style.

This poise was visible in the first quarter, when Goal Shooter Sarah Fisher and Goal Attack Sarah Pycroft scored nine goals between them compared to Teesside’s four. Ever reliable, Pycroft contributed valuable points from all regions of the shooting circle and this blistering start would prove the catalyst for victory, as the ascendancy was never surrendered.

Throughout the second and third quarters Teesside played an aggressive game – Katie Brunskill bearing the brunt of some vicious challenges – and scored with great accuracy, putting pressure on the York side. The atmosphere grew tense when Teesside scored a chain of goals keeping the York fans gripped in anticipation.

The support from the sidelines encouraged York and the girls produced some accurate and fluid passing, particularly from Centre Olivia Fisher and, as a result, by the fourth quarter York had just managed to stay ahead. The introduction of fresher Jenni Williams for Grace Marsden at Goal Defence shored things up during those tense, late moments.

Dissecting the York performance, it becomes apparent that their success at present is built on constituent parts, producing a whole which is genuinely attractive to watch. Working from the back, Captain Tess Olsen remains exemplary in defence, marshalling her team-mates well. The centre is beginning to gel, with Dessain proving an excellent fulcrum in the side, linking defence and attack with awareness and accurate service.

Today’s opponents favoured a confrontational and attritional strategy, aided by some dubious officiating, but York adapted to the more physical test. Amidst all the incorporating of new players, there remains one constant: a certain dependability in attack which wins matches. Pycroft was chosen as the game’s best player, her understanding with Fisher almost psychic.

The team told Nouse how this season their ‘stamina and fitness has improved immensely, especially as we now train five times a week.’ How it showed.