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.