Before the third team match I caught up with Warwick’s captain Hannah Davies. who said that their chances of success were strong. “Despite injury, our team has gone from strength to strength throughout the season,” she said, also adding that the united goal of beating Coventry throughout the Varsity series would spur the girls on.
With both squads lined up eager for the match, an equal number of supporters populated each side of the balcony starting their chants from the outset. Coventry started the game strong with a potent Goal Shooter, 2nd year Media and Communications student Daisy Roberts, who showed consistency and control throughout the game. The team’s pace was too much for Warwick who were left to play catch up from the start.
A series of knock backs for the home girls from various fouls gave Coventry many opportunities in possession, which Roberts and Goal Attack Laura Buckham repeatedly transformed into points. The first quarter ended 9-6 in Coventry’s favour – Warwick still within touching distance.
The second quarter saw Warwick 3rds come back refreshed and reinvigorated, with less messy footwork. Each team seemed to take the same amount of shots, but with a controlled GS and GA, Coventry had the edge in making more targeted attempts. An impressive Wing Attack performance from Hannah Cousins kept Warwick in the game; Cousins’ technique and pace lent itself to many goal opportunities for the home team, but unfortunately they failed to take them, leaving them 11 points down going into the third quarter of the game with the score closing at 20-9 to Coventry’s favour.
During a slow start from both sides in the third quarter,Warwick relocated Cousins into the Centre position, which seemed to serve its purpose in tightening up the teamwork.
Warwick came back revived and with vengeance as they made three goal attempts in the first minute
However, the challenge just wasn’t tough enough and Coventry continued to score points – albeit at a lesser rate. A clash between the away team’s Wing Defense and Centre, as well as a series of clumsy errors, did not affect the score too badly for them as once more the gap widened to see Coventry on 28 points and Warwick on 10 going into the final sector of the game.
Once again, Warwick came back revived and with vengeance as they made three goal attempts in the first minute, one of which was successful. Both teams were sharp but Warwick’s Goal Attack, Chess Carter, really came into her own. Nevertheless, the home team were too far behind at this point. Their teamwork went from being fairly fractured at the start to really quite spectacular by the finish, but unfortunately it was too little too late.
With a haunting chant by one squeaky-voiced Coventry supporter on the bench of ‘you’re really good’ echoing throughout the main hall, the game ended 16-35, regrettably a sign of things to come for UWWNC.
2nd team follow suit with 32-19 loss to Cov
Following a defeat in the first round of Netball Varsity for Warwick, the second team Captain was buzzing with optimism before their match as she regaled on last year’s Varsity victory, telling me that after a year of bonding and training there was no reason for why the 2nd team couldn’t follow their success 2013. She added, “Coventry are always a tough game in terms of their style of play, which is quite rough. However we are a technically better squad.”
When quizzed on particular strategies for the Varsity match, I was told that the Warwick side’s ethos is to “look good, play good,” unifying the team against their opposition. Whilst embodying this on the day, the team were also briefed to pass the ball around as much as possible and let the challengers tire themselves out, something they undeniably went on to do.
Warwick were the stronger team from the outset with clear shots, excellent marking and minimal error in footwork.
After the third team’s loss to Coventry prior to their game, the seconds’ match started in a similar fashion, with a Coventry point scored in just the second minute. Yet Warwick equalised only two minutes later, rein- stating faith of victory. Warwick were the stronger team from the outset with clear shots, excellent marking and minimal error in footwork. Following a few interceptions of Warwick’s ball though, Coventry managed to take an easy lead battering the home team goal after goal whilst gaining formidable momentum. After 15 minutes of play 12 points had been settled, only one of which was earned by Warwick.
A quick goal from Warwick in the second quarter revitalised the team. In quick succession more points followed, leaving the gap easier to close. The strategy of tiring the Coventry players out definitely seemed to be implemented at this point in the game. Nevertheless, the girls from Coventry persisted and gave Warwick a run for their money. They were still in the lead by the halfway point at 17-12, but Warwick were undoubtedly threatening to catch up despite a number of missed shots that could’ve seen them go further.
On the other hand, Coventry’s Wing Attack and Goal Defense were unfaltering and their presence was felt
Far from bland, the third quarter was ‘all go’ from the outset. Two quick points, one for each side, followed the whistle. The ball travelled back and forth across the pitch yet neither of the sides managed to get into a position where they could score again in the first five minutes. A coordinated team on the Coventry side, however, saw them break away once more into a bigger lead ending the quarter 25-16.
The final round of the match only seemed to deflate the Warwick team further with two quick points from Coventry at the beginning. Looking for a star player on the home side was a difficult task considering how much possession of the ball Coventry had, but credit must be given to Warwick’s Centre and Goal Attack players. On the other hand, Coventry’s Wing Attack and Goal Defense were unfaltering and their presence was felt particularly through this final quarter. Nevertheless, Warwick’s team were too far behind in the game. As such, the game ended 32-19, again giving Coventry a Varsity victory.
Firsts fight fiercely but narrowly miss a win
First team Captain Hannah Davies reported that the first team game was ‘fiercely fought’ with some of the best netball the UWWNC have played all season.
“Everyone fought until the final whistle, but a few mistakes were costly and umpires were very picky. Coventry had a strong Goal Attack and kept us under pressure.
“Despite injury and sickness everyone stepped up; Warwick player Chloe Burrow even gained recognition for her effort from Coventry by being named girl of the game in spite of her ailments.”
Davies described it as an ’emotional loss’ as the game ended 35-32 to Team Phoenix of Coventry.