LANC (Leeds Athletics Netball Club) senior team will be delighted with their performance on Sunday 24th March at Leeds Beckett University against local rivals Grangetown, marking a well-deserved end to the season.
Leeds’ first centre pass sailed off court, but this was no indication of the level of play that was to follow. Both teams seemed well matched, but Leeds proceeded to take an early lead, though Grangetown were soon hot on their heels; intercepting Leeds’ passes into the D and turning the ball over quickly and smoothly. Leeds were rapid in bringing up the score, and after the first quarter, the score stood at 15-11 to Leeds.
Following a bold start, Leeds worked hard to secure their lead over the second quarter, racking up a score of 28 versus Grangetown’s 21. Grangetown struggled to get the ball to the shooters, and Leeds’ defence were quick to pick up any misaimed balls. However, the score reflected Grangetown’s efforts to get back into contention. Their offensive play lacked cohesion and as a result found themselves seven goals adrift.
The third quarter was back and forth almost every goal with both teams maintaining a ten-goal difference. The teams put considerable defensive pressure on every pass, making the opposition work hard to keep possession. Grangetown never wavered in their determination to deter the Leeds’ team, but their efforts were fruitless against such a tight knit team.
Nothing could come up against the strength of Leeds’ shooters, an unbeatable pair who shot rebounds seamlessly whenever their teammate missed a goal. Tactical yet subtle and low bounce passes from the edge of the D worked well for the pair. Grangetown fought until the very end, but there is no denying that Leeds had the upper hand throughout the match, keeping a steady lead with good communication and quick reactions.
The standout player of the match was by far Leeds’ goal shooter, Vanessa Walker, who caught every ball in the air and landed splits with ease, also taking some amazing shots from an admirable distance. Another key player was Leeds’ centre, Lydia Walker, who worked exhaustively up and down the court, tirelessly intercepting and supporting her teammates throughout the game.
The way the fourth and final quarter unfolded seemed inevitable. Leeds yet again extended their lead into the last quarter, in the end winning a well-earned 53-40 after widening the goal gap to 13. Possession for Grangetown was short-lived towards the end of the game, with Leeds moving the ball down the court with both agility and speed. Leeds now stay safely in the top spot of the netball league.
Photo credits: Caitlin Tilley