Leeds Netball 1’s put in an extraordinary effort to beat Northumbria 1’s 28-27 in a pulsating match on Wednesday. After falling just two goals short of Loughborough in their first game of the season, Leeds were visibly eager for the win.
The tension was high in the opening minutes of the first quarter and it was neck and neck from the start at Uni’s speed and accuracy were countered by Northumbria’s fierce defending. Despite some skillful passing in the circle throughout the first 15 minutes, the away side successfully crowded Leeds out, restricting passing options.
The second quarter proved harsh for Leeds. Harsh umpiring decisions went against the hosts and and valuable penalty shots were conceded to Northumbria’s advantage. It was to Leeds’ credit that they kept a cool head, playing the game minute by minute and slowly gaining control of the encounter. The score at half-time was 16-16.
Going into the third quarter, tactics became unpredictable and though both sides showed incredible fitness, this stage of the match called for a slower pace. Leeds’ centre, Potter, showed great commitment for the team, ensuring that the ball reached the circle as Northumbria’s defence tired. Goal shooter Crosbie and Goal attack Scott were on target in the D and the Northumbrian defence were losing balance, giving away avoidable penalty shots to Leeds.
Returning to the court for the final time, The Gryphon Centre was filled with cheers from both benches. Leeds managed to get three goals which put them just ahead, yet the visitors refused to give up the fight. With the score 26-26, Northumbria missed a vital penalty shot, resulting in huge cheers from the Leeds bench. The Gryphons broke away in the final minutes thanks to excellent work from Dawse and Gray, making the final score 28-27 to Uni.
Image courtesy of Lucie England-Duce