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.