The whistle sounded for the first quarter with the mood tense in camp Sparrow, most of the onlookers a nervous wreck. But they needn’t have worried, within the first few minutes of play, dominant centre court feed between Brown and Carnie proved the winning combination the team deserved. Aggressive centre play from Team Storm around the D led to multiple contact and obstruction calls from the established umpire, enabling the Sparrow shooters to swish some balls into the net. Unfortunately, Team Storm hadn’t remained unbeaten for nothing, possession from their centre passes naturally resulted in some outstanding goals from Storm. With neither team overturning the centre pass to result in a goal, the quarter ended on an even 4-4. The Sparrows would have to dig deep to establish themselves a secure lead.
The second quarter started with a rapid centre pass from Team Storm, resulting in a swift goal. The Sparrows recognised the need to up the pressure and the spectators were treated to some outstanding play from the Sparrow Defence with some amazing interceptions from Hares and Brown which resulted in a nifty feed into the D to allow Boreham to score using her signature move from near the edge of the D. But Storm were onto the Sparrows, matching each other goal for goal throughout the second quarter, by the time the whistle blew Storm had pushed just out in front to end on 8-7.
For extra energy and enthusiasm the third quarter saw some tactical changes made by all round solid defender and Captain, Lisa Cole. Adler came on in place of Symonds and Carr took the place of Carnie at WA. This strategic change saw some additional power play down the court but wasn’t enough to stop Storm from scoring the first goal of the quarter. However with some stringent refereeing Storm were quickly in trouble with continued obstruction from their GD and their GK offside, this allowed the Hawks the opportunity they needed and Boreham broke free to score. Unfortunately, despite Storms aggressive play resulting in multiple penalties to the Sparrows, there were missed opportunities and by the end of the third quarter the team were down 15-11. Could the Sparrows improve performance in the fourth and final quarter to level with their arch nemesis Storm?
With further strategic substitutions from the Sparrowhawks, and undeniably encouraging support from the sidelines the fourth quarter saw the team give it their all. Carr as centre made some gravity defying leaping grabs to intercept the ball from Storm and the Hawks were slowly but surely closing the gap. With just minutes to go until the final whistle and the score at 15-14, the supportive shouts from the sidelines were deafening. Unfazed, the defensive duo of Mel and Cole blocked Storm from entering the D and crucially allowed the ball back up to the Black and Gold’s goal. Yet another double obstruction call saw Boreham flanked by out of play defenders, ready to take a shot. INFATHOMABLY she was called for footwork before she could even take aim – at this point it seemed that fate was against the Sparrows. Storm’s possession was quickly turned over by the desperate SparrowHawks, who had now realised there were mere seconds left on the clock. Could the Hawks net a shot in the closing seconds to equalise the match? As the final whistle blew and the ball flew into the air from the Hawks it hit the rim of the net........ and bounced out. A near miss, but the Hawks could hold their heads high; they truly had given their all. A fantastic game for fans and players alike, ending on a final score of 15-14 which would still earn the Sparrowhawks a couple of points to secure their position towards the top of the table. The return fixture will surely be another intense match – we can’t wait!
The Wendover Sparrowhawks invite you to come and watch their next game against Flames netball team on Wednesday 2nd November at Aylesbury College.