York enjoy best of the netball but Hull firsts seal glory in final match

All three University of York netball teams, plus a Medics side, went up against their Hull rivals in the first day of Varsity action

Image: Lucy Dixon

Image: Lucy Dixon



It was a case of close but no cigar for the Netball Firsts as they narrowly missed out on completing a clean sweep for their club in the tent, on what turned out to be a super Saturday for York Sport.

After the Medics had inflicted a mauling on their Hull counterparts to get the ball rolling in the early tip-off, cruising to a 50-5 victory, only one victory was needed to assert York’s total domination of the White Rose opposition.

Sadly it was not to be although Cesca Dessain’s team will take heart from the way that they performed against a Hull side two BUCS league their superior. After an early spell of intense Hull pressure the home team found themselves 4-0 down in as many minutes but fought back to go in 14-8 down at the end of the first quarter.

A period of York dominance ensued with the imperious Kay Masterson scoring 4 without reply to put her team within touching distance. They managed to keep pace with their rivals until the midway point and at half time the 25-17 lead built by Hull did not reflect the ebb and flow of the match.

York tired quickly though as the game progressed and faced with a formidable offensive duo in the shape of the Hull goal attack and goal shooter their confidence seemed to slip away as they conceded a few quick scores without reply.

With York six down at the end of the third quarter, Hull leading 31-25, getting anything out of the game seemed like it would be a tall order. Thanks to Masterson’s accuracy there were a few brief moments when that scenario did seem tenable although the final 15 minutes only served to take the game further away from the hosts.

Hull motored ahead with the verve of a team scenting victory and eventually ran out 51-36 winners. A proud day however for an otherwise rampant netball club and a game from which many positives can be taken for the York first team.

Image: Peter Iveson



The seconds proved every bit as dominant as the thirds with another clinical performance over Hull. Centre Shadyn Nikzad was rampant for York and goal-shooter India Perry put away the majority of her chances in a convincing 54-26 win.

A swift start by York saw them open up a 4-0 advantage with Lisa Griffiths scoring a nice rebound after the initial effort by Perry. It took Hull a while to get going, and even when they did a number of their passes were intercepted: Nina Pullman snatched the ball from the air and the subsequent drive forward led to another York goal.

Not to be left out wing-defence Rosie Mughal showed a fine ability to read the Hull players’ intent and produced some crucial steals that lead to some strong York counter-attacks. Hull regrouped and had some good periods of play but they trailed 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The teams were pretty evenly matched at the beginning of the second, with both proving effective under the net to take the score to 15-9 in York’s favour. It was then that York pressed home their advantage: Lisa Griffiths and India Perry scoring nine while Hull’s shooters grew frustrated after only being able to add two to their total. It was in the face of consistent York pressure that Hull’s goal-attack showed some fine shooting ability with the chances she had, taking the score to 26-16 at half-time.

York’s ability to successfully convert efforts continued in the third quarter, but they were only able to extend their lead courtesy of some fine blocking and rebounding by goal-keeper Jo Brayshaw. By winning the ball back in the defensive third she gave the impetus for her team to move forward and they did so effectively outpacing and out-thinking the Hull players.

More interceptions in the final quarter showed Hull’s inability to complete passes and therefore provide a worthy challenge to the York team. The final 54-26 scoreline symbolic of another dominant York performance.

Captain Jo Brayshaw was “really pleased with the win” and said while York were “not used to playing such a feisty team, we coped really well”.

Image: Peter Iveson



Goal-shooter Rhia Stevens-Leach was on top form for York as they stormed to a 47-12 thrashing of Hull. The home side took an early lead and never looked like relinquishing it to their opponents who are placed two leagues below them in the Northern Conference.

Amy Moll got the first points on the board for a clearly fired-up York and this was complimented by the efforts of Stevens-Leach who set the tone for the rest of the game quickly by taking York to a 5-1 lead. While Stevens-Leach’s throwing was of a first-class nature it would not have been possible were it not for some of the sublime passes coming from the likes of Claire Smith. More goals meant it was 9-3 to York at the end of the first quarter.

Smith continued with the excellent passing into the second quarter and even those slightly over- or under-thrown were latched on to by Stevens-Leach. Despite the odd miss from the goal-shooter Moll was there to claim the rebound, taking it to 11-4 just before halfway through the second quarter. The forwards switched roles minutes later and increased the York lead. Hull were not totally out of it, however, and showed glimpses of good build-up play where they did combine together very well, but Lottie Knight was simply too strong for the Hull goal scorers. A period of pressure extended the York advantage to 20-7 at half-time.

The third quarter was summed up by the fine individual effort of substitute Eliza Achlund who helped York score ten goals in the time Hull could muster only three. She snatched rebounds from the grasp of Hull’s players and combined effectively with Stevens-Leach – whose hands probably should have been checked for glue for the quality of all of her catches – to race to a 36-12 lead.

By the start of the final quarter the result looked a bit of a foregone conclusion and, consequently, both teams’ concentration wavered a bit; it took almost five minutes before the first goal was scored. Ironically the one goal Hull thought they had scored was disallowed and this was the last chance they had under the net. York scored fourteen goals in a row to close the game out 47-12.

York captain Kate Copson praised Rhia Stevens-Leach who was awarded woman of the match and saw their “constant interceptions as the main reason for our strong attacks”.

Image: Peter Iveson



The University of York Medics got the day off to a fine start with a mauling of their Hull counterparts. The side, who later lent their cheerleading skills to the Medics’ football, never looked anything short of comfortable and romped home in style.