Leeds Uni 2s vs. Sheffield Hallam 2s (Cup):
Going into the game with a strong squad we were anticipating a tough match. After an initial delay, the game got off to a fast start. Constant turnovers and tight marking in defence meant that Hallam were struggling to get the ball into the circle. Combined with flawless shooting from Jess Garrington and Natasha Scott, we eneded the first quarter with a signinficant lead.
The second quarter saw no changes made to the team and we continued to build on our lead. Flying interceptions from Olivia Ellis and Lucinda Swayne in mid-court proved to be an even tougher challenge for Hallam’s attack. Although a training injury meant Harriet Higby had to call time to come off court, Claudi stepped up to the plate and proved to be an equally challenging defender, working well with Georgia in attack to get some exceptional turnovers.
Going into the third quarter we needed an extra boost to keep focus. With such a big lead it would be easy to lose momentum and some fresh legs in mid court proved to be the right move. With Lauren Forsyth coming into C and Olivia Ellis coming off after a great first half, the team reacted well and still managed to play as a unit.
Entering the final quarter spirits were high and everyone was playing well as a team. A few changes at both ends of the court with Ellie Ward coming into GK and Sophie Duncan coming into GS, we finished that game off as we started. Defence was tight through court and shooting stats were one of the highest of the season. It was a fantastic win and a fantastic team game played by all, shown by the score of 42-17. A well earned progression into the next stage of the cup.
MOTM: Natasha Scott
Leeds 5s v Bradford:
We knew this was going to be a hard game, but we were ready to continue our winning streak. We started off determined and strong with Liv Russell and Alice Ward giving some brilliant feeds into the circle which were converted into goals by Ellie Harris and Daisy Grace Beaven. Ellie Harris stood her ground and dodged around the strong Bradford defence with grace.
However, Bradford wanted the win just as much as we did, and it was end to end netball. By half time we were leading by 1 thanks to the turn overs and interceptions by Syd Wilson, Ellie Wild and Onah Violet Ezukanma, who worked well with each other in defence.
We went into the third quarter with great motivation and with fresh legs from Maya Szlachetko and Anne Tan, raring to go. Despite some odd calls from the umpire we continued to put pressure on Bradford but their springy defence were making it harder and harder. Our defence continued to mark tightly but we began to let the slight lead slip away. It was a nail biting game which ended with a score of 24-26 to Bradford.
MOTM: Alice Ward
Leeds Uni 6s v Northumbria 5s (Cup):
We faced our second cup match and nerves were high. Added support from all the LUUNC girls gave us extra motivation and we were fully warmed up and ready to beat Northumbria.
The first quarter went extremely well, defensive skills taught in last weeks training had obviously been implemented into our game play. Natalie Dixon’s play was impeccable, intercepting the majority of passes sent to her opposition and providing support all over the court. The first quarter ended 11-1 and we were all pleased with our performance.
No changes were made for the second half. Attack continued to be fluid throughout the court, as Claire Seaton and Lucy Siena worked tirelessly to get the ball into the circle. Alice Gargans’ constant movement gave Northumbria little chance for interception. Towards the end of the first half energy levels started to drop and we began to make unnecessary mistakes, especially in defence. Regular contacts and obstructions meant that Northumbria quickly gained six goals.
After some constructive advice from Shana and Wilkes we were ready to up our play and keep up the ten goal a quarter target. Changes were made after the third quarter, Bee coming on at GK and Hope at GS. Belinda Johnson created intense pressure on the GS and reduced the amount of goals they conceded. The match ended 49-17, and as a team we were thrilled with the result and so thankful for the support.
MOTM: Lauren Alderton
Photo: Sam Broadley