Shooters Flames 41 Comets Tornadoes 34
BDR 20 Thunderbirds 2 48
Stratford Ladies Purples 34 Stratford Ladies Blues 42
Thunderbirds 3 14 Shooters Sparks 53
Trust Helping Hands 48 Thunderbirds 1 29
With some pretty awful wet weather in the week, teams were grateful for a rain free morning in Alcester to play the intergroup matches. With 12 teams competing in the league, matches are played out across two mixed ability groups. After each round of group matches, the top placed team in each group play each other, 2nd v 2nd and so on. So interesting matches for each team this week as they meet their 'seeded' team.
Thunderbirds 5 and Thunderbirds 4 met in the early game, both teams yet to pick up a win. Team 5's GA, Alice Southall, was awarded the umpires' player award for her strong performance. Their captain, Lindsay Ampuller, came on as sub and impressed with her mid court play at C with the opposition recognising her efforts. Maddy Phillips GS for Team 4 had great movement around the shooting circle. Yet it was Mica Grace who started at GK for them who picked up both the umpires' and players' award. She showed great adaptability playing at both GK and GS and performing well at each end of the court. Team 4's enthusiasm remained steadfast and they kept their heads down despite the scoreline. Team 4's win and subsequent 5 points lifts them above their third team in the table.
Shooters Flames and Comets Tornadoes - 4th and 3rd places in the league respectively - also met in the early game. Comets unfortunately were short and played the match with just 6, dropping a wing leaving their centre court game potentially exposed. Molly Paish at C for Comets responded to this challenge putting in a great performance and earning her both umpires' and players' award. Despite being a player down, Comets kept at Flames throughout the match, the scoreline remaining close through each quarter. Flames showed strength in defence, forcing turnovers at vital times - Karen Philpott at GD picked up umpire and player recognition also. With some excellent shots in the last quarter, Flames managed to pull away and win by 7 goals, which given they have not taken 5 points from Comets before this weekend was an achievement. The points take Flames up to 2nd place. Comets with a well deserved point drop to 3rd on goal difference.
BDR and Thunderbirds 2 met in the final early game. Thunderbirds took a strong lead in the first quarter, coming into the interval 9 goals ahead. BDR had a stronger quarter in the 2nd, with Thunderbirds winning that period by just 1 goal. The game progressed with Thunderbirds maintaining their lead with some excellent work in the circle from Ellie Lees at GS - the umpires and her opposition awarding her the player award. The game was played out with such fun and support between teammates and opposition and was a true example of how sociable the game can be. Players and umpires alike thoroughly enjoyed the match from start to finish. Thunderbirds took the 5 points for the win, moving them up 2 positions in the league table.
First and second place teams met in the Stratford Ladies derby match. Both Purples and Blues have won all of their matches to this point with just goal difference separating them and putting Purples on top of the league before this week's meeting. Inevitably a close game to enjoy - for the neutral at least! Blues made a strong start coming into the first interval with a 6 goal lead. Purples won the second quarter 10 goals to 8 and closed the gap by 2 to just 4 goals. The 3rd period saw Blues have their best quarter netting 14 goals and Purples dropped behind, the difference now 12 goals. Purples had a strong final quarter, winning that period by 12 goals to 8 but it merely closed the gap and wasn't enough to take the win. Sam Murdoch at GA for Blues was on top form not believed to have missed a shot! New to the club, but regular partnership of Helen Williams and Beth Pickering in defence for Blues also made life difficult for Purples in their shooting circle with some excellent blocking. Both teams had a strong midcourt game with lots of tips and interceptions. The win for Blues puts them 3 points clear at the top of the table and Purples drop down to 3rd position. Will they meet each other again in the next intergroup matches?!
Thunderbirds 3 played Shooters Sparks in the later game. 2 players took the court in this match for their 2nd hour of netball of the morning. Olivia Burnard for Thunderbirds having played up for Team 2 in the early fixture, and Katy Cwojdszinski for Sparks having played up for Flames earlier too. Thunderbirds' captain Eve Green's mid court play at C caught the eye of the opposition, while Hannah Cumberworth's strength in the circle at GS impressed the umpires for their award. Another impressive moment noted by the umpires.. Lizzie Chute, Thunderbirds' WA, passed the ball 'across' the D but it went through the net - no goal scored as not an eligible shot but a pretty extraordinary moment that threw most players on court! Sparks were focused on their positive play with good communication across the court and made some great interceptions and turn overs, good through court play finished with some on form shooting. In picking up the 5 points for the win, they clocked up their highest ever goal tally since joining the league, improving on their previous record by 4 goals. The win moves them 2 places up the table before the next round of group matches.
The final game of the morning was between Trust Helping Hands and Thunderbirds 1. Trust knew not to underestimate the young team who are driven and clearly train together as a team putting this into play in matches. The game was well fought throughout, with Thunderbirds particularly having a strong first quarter. Trust responded to this and dug in tightening up the defence and benefiting from some great shooting from their GS Holly Jackson who was hard for the Thunderbirds defence to prevent from netting when she had possession. Lolita Galvin at C for Thunderbirds provided excellent mid court support throughout, and some great shooting from captain Olivia Bollons and Evie Allwood helped the team keep the pressure on Trust and they picked up a well earned point at the final whistle for being within half of the winning score.
- Thunderbirds 5: Umpires' player - Alice Southall, Players' player - Lindsay Ampuller
- Thunderbirds 4: Umpires' and players' player - Michaela Grace
- Shooters Flames: Umpires' and players' player - Karen Philpott
- Comets Tornadoes: Umpires' and players' player - Molly Paish
- BDR: Umpires' player - Andrea Hancox, Players' player - Bev Wilson
- Thunderbirds 2: Umpires and players' player - Ellie Lees
- Stratford Ladies Purples: Umpires' player - Zoe Bell, Players' player - Beth Griffiths
- Stratford Ladies Blues: Umpires' and players' player - Sam Murdoch
- Thunderbirds 3: Umpires' player - Hannah Cumberworth, Players' player - Eve Green
- Shooters Sparks: Umpires' player - Amelia Rouse, Players' player - Katy Cwojdzinski
- Trust Helping Hands: Umpires' player - Hollie Jones, Players' player - Holly Jackson/Ange Sinclair