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L5s hold off persistent Banbury Team to consolidate top slot

17 November 2018, 11:00, Banbury Road North (Top)

Ladies' 5s 2 - 1 Banbury Ladies 3s

A rather inconvenient schools’ netball tournament impacted availability in some part of the club this week so the L5s were lucky to have Helen, who is new to the club,  and Mary to help them out. Banbury always give us a good match and on past seasons we are roughly even on the outcomes; so all to play for. The opposition seemed rather more compact than normal with a starting side of just 10. There was some debate as to whether an 11th player joined them during the match and we finally decided that they did. Nonetheless, we recognised a few faces and knew them to be strong players. It also turned out that the had a formidable goalie and a couple of talented juniors.

Banbury started well and took advantage of our rather sleepy start. However, L5s picked up and we enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half. Banbury played in an attacking format meaning that the full backs, Becky, Mary and Susan were kept occupied marking the high forwards and did this well throughout the match. While we enjoyed more possession, Banbury proved very adept at stepping in front of Hawks’ players and turning the ball over, moving into some quick passing to progress back up the pitch. Despite a number of attacks on goal from Sherene, Pip  and Polly the strong Banbury defence held firm. We finally settled down and with Jacs calming our play down in midfield with effective distribution we started to be more effective. As we entered the second quarter, a pass from our 25 was moved up the pitch via Jane and Helen did an amazing run into the D before passing to Pip who was waiting on the right post to pop the ball firmly in the net. Our lead was short-lived; just five minutes before half time Banbury fought back and equalised from an effective short corner routine.

The whole team worked hard and stepped up a gear in the second half. We started to lose the ball less and put more passes together successfully. Great work from the midfield team really made a difference and  half backs Jane, Caroline and Alice together with inners, Mimi, Priya and Georgie kept our possession percentage high and our forwards continued to attack the D. Finally we made headway and from a short corner we eventually got a second goal, Pip again with another solid finish. From there the whole team pull together and the ball rarely left Banbury’s half. Alice was notable in the last ten minutes for great overturning and composed passing. 

For me, a notable point of the match was the amount of time Pip spent on 2 feet rather than on the ground as she has been having a tendancy to do recently! She may not need those knee pads for long after all! 

Helen was voted MoM for her consistent hard work and Sophie did another effective job at managing the bench!  Thanks to Charlie and Rachel for umpiring.

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