Newcastle 1s are top of the BUCS Northern Tier 1A after a cool 55-43 victory over local rivals, Northumbria. After a win against Durham 1s last week, the lasses were relishing the challenge that lay ahead in a derby day thriller.
The opening quarter saw a slow start to proceedings. Newcastle drew first blood but struggled to find their rhythm. Northumbria were finding good pockets of space and passing well, with fluid movements helping their goals rack up. Newcastle started to pick up a little bit, with centre Skylar Collins having a vital role as playmaker for the side. However, the home team missed a few chances, which Northumbria capitalised on, giving them a 17-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Moving into the second quarter, Newcastle made a few substitutions, and they looked the better for it. Northumbria found themselves slipping up a handful of times, with their players finding the ball out of play. The hosts started to pick themselves up and get into the swing of the game. On the attack, they looked solid, able to find space and pick out some really smart passes. Centre, Hannah Gorman, was key the quarter, not only setting up Goal-Shooter, Beth Marron, for multiple goals but also acting as a commanding force throughout. The game was really cranked up a notch in the closing five minutes, where Newcastle closed the gap on Northumbria. Newcastle really got their rhythm going, whereas the away team were starting to make costly errors which left them with 25 goals to Newcastle’s 26 at the end of the quarter.
Unchanged for the third quarter, Newcastle continued with the same energy that they’d found in the previous quarter. They played some fantastic netball, experimenting with different movements and a range of passing styles which were highly entertaining to watch. However, Northumbria were still responding to make the match quite tight to begin with. Despite their best efforts though, Newcastle began to storm ahead, Wing-Attack, Jess Merrin, worked tirelessly defending and teeing up Marron and her partner in Goal-Attack, Jaz Langley, who by this point were scoring for fun. The home side were making the match look like easy work. Northumbria were clearly growing frustrated, and they made a couple of substitutions with six minutes left on the clock for this quarter. This wasn’t enough to prevent them from fumbling a couple of passes and accidentally throwing the ball out of play. Newcastle’s tireless energy saw them with a five goal advantage at the end of the quarter, winning 40-35.
Slipping into the final quarter, Newcastle absolutely stormed ahead, with Northumbria looking flat and clueless in places. Backed to the soundtrack of supportive chants from the rest of the netball club, the home side were quick, fluid and incredibly composed throughout. Northumbria looked tired, whereas Newcastle looked like they could play for hours on end. As the gap between the two sides got bigger, Fresher Maria Rawling came on with two minutes to go and scored three debut goals to help her side to a solid 55-43 win.
Another fantastic game by the 1s sees them top the BUCS Northern Tier 1A table. A special shoutout must also be given to Jaz Langley, Maria Rawling and Jess Merrin, who are all freshers and played a blinder of a match. They’ll be incredibly pleased with the team’s performance and how well their movements clicked together. The team travel to South Yorkshire this week to play Sheffield 1s, with the hope of securing another win to stay in the top spot.