U19: London Pulse Take The Win 51-43
(Report by Daisy Beer)
After the Christmas break, the London Pulse U19 squad was ready to continue performing well and keep the winning streak. A long car journey led them to Bath University Sports Training Village. After a phenomenal performance against Manchester Thunder, Pulse were looking to display similar strengths.
Starting seven –
GS – Emily Greensmith
GA – Hannah Gibson
WA – Daisy Beer
C – Summer Chapman
WD – Oonagh Christensen
GD – Ellie Sadler
GK – Zaneya Cunningham
Substitutions: Lois Levy, Coco Williams, Ella Bloomfield-Bowmaker, Jane Sigobodhla, Temi Dawodu
In the first play of the match, Pulse managed to turn over the ball by forcing an error and creating pressure for Bath. The early exchanges were really well fought, with both sides playing some high quality netball. After a few minutes the coaching staff made a tactical change, switching Christensen for Bloomfield – Bowmaker.
The rest of the quarter consisted of slick and sharp play in attack from Greensmith, Gibson, Beer and Chapman. The shooters were on fire, shooting from all areas of the shooting circle. The Pulse defence were also causing huge amounts of trouble for Bath and forcing multiple balls into the hands of Cunningham and Sadler. Overall it was a strong quarter for Pulse, performing well in all areas of the court, however Bath managed to keep contesting leaving the end score 11-10 to Pulse.
With the same seven that ended quarter 1 starting this quarter, connections started to settle and Pulse started showing a stronger display of their talents. Lots of variety from Gibson, Beer and Greensmith in attack combined with arms over pressure on the edge of the circle from Chapman, Bloomfield-Bowmaker, meant that Sadler and Cunningham were able to pick up the over balls consistently throughout the quarter. Due to the number of turnovers, the Pulse shooters put up lots of shots scoring 89% of them, Pulse were able to extend the score line to 20-27.
This quarter was where both Pulse and Bath started to experience some fatigue and errors crept in on both sides. The play was evenly matched with the coaching team making a decision to move Bloomfield – Bowmaker to C, Sigobodhlato WD and Williams to GS. This lead to a burst of energy from Pulse, putting a stop to Bath’s flow. Sadler and Cunningham continued to showcase their talent and displayed great marking and managed to get multiple interceptions throughout the quarter. There was lots to play for in the last quarter with the score being 30-38.
The last quarter Chapman returned to C. The team continue to push on finding gaps in the Bath defence. Bath closed the gap but Pulse work hard to make it over this final hurdle. The last quarter saw Bath make some more changes of their own, but Pulse kept adapting with Williams and Gibson still sinking long range shots under pressure. The final score was 51-43 to London Pulse.
OPOM was Ellie Sadler who took the most interceptions in the match, and Coaches POM was Hannah Gibson who shot at 88% for the match.
Congratulations to Lois Levy who made the squad of 12 for the first time this season.
U21: Team Bath take the win 44-36
(Report by Tami Fapohunda)
Venue: University of Bath
Our starting seven included the following players…
Ali Mecklenburgh (GS)
Regan Peters (GA)
Hannah Knightbridge (WA)
Sophia Shalabi (C)
Izzi Phillips (WD)
Darcie Everitt (GD)
Tami Fapohunda (GK)
It was a challenging day for Pulse U21’s as we faced off against the formidable Team Bath in a highly anticipated netball match. Despite our unwavering intensity in defence and moments of tactical finesse, this was not enough to pull through with a win.
From the first whistle, both teams displayed exceptional strategy- clearly sticking to their practiced structure. Initially Pulse were able to disrupt Bath’s pattern of play, with some turnovers in the first few minutes of the match. A rigorous first quarter resulted in a 4 point lead for pulse.
However, as the match unfolded, it became apparent that Bath was gaining the upper hand in terms of high efficiency with their turn over to goals. Immense pressure on Pulse’s attack seemed to unsettle players as we lost possession of the ball due to poor ball handling and missed shots. So the second quarter saw us fighting hard to regain some control. There were times of brilliance as we set up some defensive zones and had a few successful interceptions but unfortunately the opposition’s well-coordinated attacks and tight defence made it challenging for us to close the gap.
Following our team talk during half time, it was evident that a lot of hard work needed to be done in order to close the 7 goal lead of Bath. Still, Pulse’s possession to shot remained statistically lower than the opposition. There was brutal contesting for the ball, showing Pulse’s athleticism and determination to close the gap.
With the following players: Rudee R, Matilda S and Princess A, stepping on court in the final quarters, they contributed to moments of smooth execution in all positional departments, so the team was able to step up despite feeling fatigued. Our efforts were evident with Bath’s shooting opportunities decreasing drastically in the final quarter however their lead was already too large to bridge, ending the match with a 44-36 win to Team Bath.
As we reflect on this match, we use this experience as a valuable lesson for our continued growth and improvement. We look forward to future challenges, knowing that each defeat is an opportunity to learn and come back stronger.
CPoM & OPoM – Tami Fapohunda