Narrow victory for netball

YORK NETBALL 1s completed a narrow 42-40 home victory over Sheffield 2s on Wednesday. This was the latest in a row of very tight results for the York netballers. This victory comes at an important point in the season for the York Netball team, as they are now likely to leapfrog at least one competitor in the Northern 3B league.

In the first few minutes of the game, Sheffield, led by captain Chantelle Rees, raced into a four point lead. The York netballers, however, surprised and too passive at first, rallied fast. Early on in the game, York’s goal attack Pascale Fisher emerged as the most effective scorer on either team by far. By the end of the first 15-minute quarter York were one point away from pulling even.

During the second quarter the game sped up, with York’s captain and wing attack Elena Sullivan-Williams and wing defence Katie Charlton responsible for a lot of forward drive. Nevertheless, York seemed locked in a pattern of pulling even and then falling a point behind.

Sheffield, meanwhile, was constantly on the attack and might have established a solid lead in this quarter, had it not been for York’s defence, Emily Owens and Lucy Tindale. At 18-18 Fisher broke the pattern and continued to score again and again, earning York a 24-20 lead by the halfway break.

The third quarter of the game was a continuation of the last few minutes of the second quarter and surely the team’s strongest showing in the entire match. York’s centre led by Sullivan-Williams was passing the ball with great speed and precision towards the
goal circle, where Fisher delivered point after point, resulting in a 36-28 lead for York by the end of the third quarter with only 15 minutes to go.

For the final quarter, however, Sheffield took over the match. York’s attack, which was convincing otherwise, seemed almost invisible for a few minutes. Their opponents, meanwhile, rebounded. Sheffield’s goal shooter and goal attack, Mae Hudson and Rebecca Knock, made the last minutes of the game nerve-racking for York’s team and its supporters, many of whom had gotten to their feet with shouts of “slow it down, slow it down”.

With four minutes to go York’s advantage had shrunk to a single point, the score being 39-38. York missed six opportunities to score in these last minutes, visibly made nervous and seemingly too flustered to take their supporters’ advice and play it safe. Finally, goal shooter Ellie Poland brought her team some relief, establishing the two-point lead the game would come to an end in.

Sheffield 2s are facing Leeds 3s next, currently at the very bottom of the league. York’s next competitor will be Sheffield Hallam 2s, who were fourth in the league until Wednesday. The upcoming face-off on 29 November will therefore provide an opportunity to consolidate a position higher up in the league table.

Many York 2s and 3s team members showed up on Wednesday to support their fellow netballers from the side-lines. Both teams had had matches of their own that day. York 2s lost 40-43 against Sheffield 3s. York 3s, undefeated in their league since the start of the season, continued their winning streak, beating Hull 2s 42-26.

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