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.