Thursday 31st March 2022
Written by Ruth Hobbs (Reds captain)
Pewsey came into the game knowing it was going to be tough. Holt Gold were unbeaten and their goal scoring record speaks for itself. Our first game against them was a good contest and we came away with a point, could we do any better this time round? We also have to be honest and say we were deflated with our loss to Holt Royals last match, it felt like we had been robbed - an easy thing to say but a genuine feeling.
We had worked on set plays at training and our focus was to stay positive and take the game to them. Trudie’s advice was to be strong defensively, so we went with the tried and tested back line of LJ, Emily and Hanna. The snow was falling and the thermals were in! The whistle went and Pewsey had three interceptions on Holt’s first centre, they still scored from it (mistakes due to cold hands on both teams) and it went centre to centre. 3-3………and then disaster!!!! Emily and LJ clash in the goal circle and there’s blood!!!! Emily off and Zoe on at GD! Not her natural playing position but we panicked and just wanted to patch Emily up as soon as possible! Quarter time came and we were 11-4 down, Elaine scoring all 4 goals.
We had support on the sidelines (big thanks to Sarah, Kelly & Josie who braved the cold) and we kept to our task of staying positive and praising each other whenever possible. Our voice had definitely quietened but with Em back on, we were hopeful. 2nd quarter and Sinem was off, she needed to clear the mechanism, and Zoe came on at GA. Elaine was getting the long bombs in and Jodie was feeding the D well. Emma was getting some great interceptions and defence worked well….. but Holt were better. They had the edge over us and our set plays seemed to be out of the window. We went in at half time 22-8 down.
A quick team talk - we needed to get within 50% for a point. It was a case of just trying to enjoy it now and use it as a training match, let’s get those set plays sorted! Sinem had been watching the GK and felt like she could use the knowledge back on the court, so she came on at GS and I came on at C. We started the third quarter well, a turnover and suddenly we got our mojo back! Sinem had found a weakness and was capitalising with the drop balls into the D and shots were going in from both shooters from all around the D. Hanna got some great interceptions and we scored from them. Jodie was offering pocket and top balls and the goals started to flow. It felt like an even quarter, so imagine my surprise when we came off at 3/4 time and it was 32-22!!! We had won the quarter 10-14! We were within 50% and had our eyes on even more than one point now. We had a belief that has been missing at times this year.
Final quarter, we wanted 2 points, so needed to be within 5 goals and we were hungry for it. We got the first turnover, we scored off our centre, we got another turnover, we scored off our centre….. could we actually go all the way and win this?! Holt scored the next goal and then turned our centre, they weren’t done yet! We played some of the best netball we have played this season, we played the wall, we thought about setting ourselves up quickly at set plays, and above all else, we were enjoying it!!! Elaine was shouting out scores from the sidelines, we were within 5!!! But a turnover and then we were behind by 7 again, but Elaine’s positivity on the sidelines never felt like we were going to let this slip. We played our game and worked hard. We were on a roll!!!!!
Final score……… 38-35 to Holt. We celebrated like it was a win and in a way it was!!! We had met our goal set at the start of the match and keep in mind we were down 22-8 at half time, it felt like a miraculous recovery and an amazing 2 points.
I could not be more proud of absolutely every member of the team, Kelly offered tactical advice at half time and again the support on the sideline made all the difference. The 2 points earned keep us in contention of promotion, if we can perform like that every week, we have every possibility of our dream becoming a reality…… but I won’t get too excited just yet, adrenaline still pumping!
A big shout out to the umpires (especially Ella, who without her, the game wouldn’t have gone ahead!) they were consistent and fair and you can’t say any better than that.
POM: Zoe. Got 1 interception at GD and played a strong GA too ;) !
Players player: Jodie. She had a stormer, never stopped and great movement in the attacking third.
Pewsey Reds vs Fitz
What a game!!! Looking at the results, it felt like this would be a good match but one which we could play around and try out new positions and new players….. how wrong was I! The two games where I have tried to plan the 4 quarters have been the hardest games so far…. I won’t make that mistake again. Prior planning apparently promotes poor performance. We started and Fitz came out of the starting blocks hard. I threw away the first centre and we went 3-0 down. It was beginning to feel like England vs Australia, we’d bring it back to level and Fitz would take the lead by at least 3 again. We were lucky to go into the first quarter break 11-11. BUT it felt like we could take this, we just needed to relax, allow Fitz to run around and play our game.
We started strong in the second quarter, we stuck to the plan and Emma came on for Jodie and there was a shuffle in defence with Hanna coming on at GD and Emily moving to GK. We hadn’t practiced this before but I was interested to see whether it could create a different dynamic in defence. It did and Hanna put the GA under pressure. We went into half time 19-17 up.
As a team we were superb and I cannot thank all the players and supporters enough. As the captain, I was at a bit of a loss, my chopping and changing was detrimental but I felt compelled to change it again! LJ came on at WD, Sinem at GA with Zoe moving to GS and Jodie at C. We started this quarter like a dream, we got 5 or 6 goals on the bounce and this was the time that it felt like the game was ours…… then Fitz came back at us. We made some unforced errors and we went into quarter time 28-28. I sought advice from the sidelines, we HAD to win this one!
More changes!!! But we went back to our tried and tested positions, LJ back at GK, Hanna WD, Emily GD. Zoe and Sinem switching in attack. The last quarter started and some great interceptions all the way down the court - but we couldn’t capitalise. It felt like this could slip away. Players got tense, it was tense on the sidelines, we started playing catch up and it was not a nice feeling. Trudie asked how we were doing and I said “losing”.
This was when I realised that we needed to change our attitude. We could either fight and take it to them, or roll over and accept the loss. Hanna had led “the wall” incredibly well and the noise had a positive effect on the team, so this was the new game plan - noise. We started cheering and shouting for every ball, every interception, every goal, pretty much every pass!!! The support on the sideline became our 8th player. We got momentum and Ella signalled that we were 4 ahead - no time to rest, we needed to push on. “We go again Pewsey” became my chant and Elaine’s “awesome” is always welcome.
The final whistle……. It was 42-33 to Pewsey!!! I think we were all shocked by how much we had pulled ahead in that last quarter. We were the Australia to Fitz’s England and boy did it feel good to be on the winning side this time!
POM: Emily. 100%, she was a menace in defence and you could hear them on the sideline “no overheads, she’s too good”. A positive influence on court and never gave up.
Players player: Emily. As above, as captain, I was thrilled she got both, thoroughly deserved.
by Ruth Hobbs
We were grateful to have another match so soon after our poor performance last week, we needed to move onwards and upwards - fast! We felt that training had been going well, we just needed to find our rhythm. As mentioned before, consistency was the key for this match.
We practiced our warm up and this allowed us to feel prepared from the first whistle. The first few minutes went on centre and then we got our turnover. Alice and Emily in defence working hard as always. LJ was marking the WA out of the game and our confidence as a team was growing. Melksham had an impressive long ball into the D, which was almost impossible to mark but we just needed to keep scoring off our centre passes and we knew the turnovers would come. Kala was fab at C, linking up well with myself (WA) and Zoe (GA). We had practiced the pocket ball and this was playing dividends. Sinem and Zoe had some beautiful pop balls to each other, my favourite being a no look back line pass from Sinem, which took even Zoe by surprise, but she collected and (of course) scored. We went into the first break 6 goals up - it was still anyone’s game.
It was decided to keep the team the same for the next quarter and this turned out to be a good decision. Players were getting to know each other and partnerships were blossoming. Alice and Emily were putting pressure on the ball coming in and being rewarded with interceptions. Alice made a beautiful interception that deserved a goal, but unfortunately I tried to force the ball into the D and I definitely deserve a forfeit for that one!!! Half time approached and we were riding high, 9 goals up.
Alice came off looking a different colour, so we allowed her some space and Kala moved back to GD with Emily GK. Hanna put on the WD bib with Kelly at WA and Elaine at GS and we were ready to go again. Our centre passes seemed easier than last week and we got the ball out well. We pressured their centre pass, with it often coming back to their defensive players. The pocket ball was working well and our shooters must have been at 90% success rate. Whilst we weren’t perfect, this now felt like our game to lose and we were NOT going to let that happen! We were changing direction and stage 2 defending all down the court, great to see that we were putting into practice, what we had worked on at training. The team stayed the same for the final quarter and we were looking to close out the game and keep working hard.
Credit to Melksham, it was a lovely game to play, competitive but clean. Both teams praising each other for good play and putting their hands up when they knew their indiscretions. Also credit to our supporters on the sideline, great to hear shouts of encouragement and words of advice and support in the breaks.
Final score: 51:36 to Pewsey
POM: Kala (or Redhead!) well deserved, she did not stop and put pressure on every Melksham pass. Switching from C to GD seamlessly.
Players player: Zoë. As mentioned, excellent shooting, with one long bomb in particular that was b-e-a-utiful! She followed her shots and was always available for the centre pass.
by Ruth Hobbs
Thursday 4th November vs Holt Royals
We took to the court full of nerves, our first game in 20 months was the cause for much excitement but players were worried; 15 minutes quarters, would we survive?! Having never played with each other except at training, we all entered with trepidation and nerves in our bellies. We started well and some great turnovers in defence gave us a healthy lead. Sinem and Zoe linking up well in attack to capitalise on great defensive play all down the court. LJ’s stage 2 defending was to be admired. But then Holt started coming back at us and we only led by one going into the first break. Moving into the second quarter and Elaine came on at GS, she got to work immediately, and her shooting was as consistent as ever. Zoe played beautifully and Hanna stepped into the WA position with fire and passion. We got some excellent interceptions……. And then threw them away. Holt had changed their attacking force and came at us with renewed effort. We clumsily allowed our lead to slip away and we needed to clear the mechanism and refocus, half time could not come soon enough. Special mention to Kala who played her socks off at C. We knew we needed to calm it down and just play our game, but somehow, we just didn’t know what our game was?
We started the 3rd quarter strongly and it went on centre pass. We needed 4 turnovers…… and then Holt got the first turnover and it felt like a mountain to climb, but we fought on. When we got it right it was superb, but my oh my, did we get it wrong on more than one occasion. In the break, everyone was saying the same thing “it’s a strange game” no one really knew what was happening, we were better than this. Credit to Holt, they ran everywhere and were strong in every position, the only thing I could offer was that we were frantic but also delaying the pass……. A strange combination indeed! Alice and Emily were putting up a good battle in defence and Kelly was picking up the GA admirably. Going into the 4th quarter, we still felt we could pull it back if only we could find our game….. but unfortunately, we couldn’t. We fought well and tried hard….. maybe too hard. Lessons were learnt and things to work on. From my perspective we needed to give the ball earlier and have confidence in our passing. The delayed pass allowed for too many interceptions. But we also did not change direction AT ALL!!!! Something to work on for next week. Tactically I got it wrong, I will rectify this I promise. Too many changes were made at the break and consistency is the key for next week.
Opponents’ player of the match: Elaine. Well-deserved and I don’t think she missed a shot. Great vision for rebounds and knows how to hold her space well.
Players player: Kala. Thoroughly deserved. She always gives 100% and when moved to GD (her preferred position) she was a menace.
Our brand new Kukri kit shop is LIVE. The link is below. A big thanks to Hanna and Lauren for doing this.
We're back to training! After months of small group fitness sessions we were able to increase our group sizes and include match play in our training from Sept 2nd following England Netball guidelines. We're so happy to be back on court and playing netball. Surprisingly the new COVID-19 modifications feel very normal.
We even had our first friendly match against KSM, finishing with a win of 31-12. We're enjoying playing competitively again. If you'd like to arrange a friendly against one of our teams let us know.
Introducing our monthly newsletter with everything you need to know about Pewsey Netball Club. Full article available to download below.
As voted by our members this year our Charity of the Year will be Julia's House. We will be raising money for them through our Charity Netball Tournament and our Ball.