The final game of the season for Herts League Division 2 and it’s a battle for the top of the table between Omega 2 and AFN 3. With regular GS Hannah Brown missing from the squad, Chloe D’Arcy steps up to fill the shooting role. A great turnout of supporters for the important game and more benches are needed.
With a squad of 8, Lisa Short takes the bench for the first quarter. The adrenaline is buzzing as a result of the fantastic England win over Australia earlier today and the team are up for giving it their best shot, competing for the ball at every opportunity, often penalised by the umpires for their efforts, with a caution given early to WD, Molly Brett for persistent contact, followed swiftly by a warning before the end of the quarter. The whole team defend hard, earning 12 turnovers in the first quarter, but some simple errors with breaks at centre pass and AFN winning more possession their way, proving costly. 90% accuracy in the shooting circle from GS, Sophie Humphry and GA, Chloe D’Arcy isn’t enough for Omega to win the quarter, as it ends 9-16 to AFN.
A change in the 1st interval sees Molly taking the bench for the remainder of the game as the chance of a suspension could be too risky for the game. Lisa Short takes up the WD position and the game restarts. Omega continue to give their all to the game with more great defending throughout the court and another superb shooting quarter with 94% conversion, sees 15 of the attempted 16 shots scored and Omega winning the quarter 15-14, closing the lead by 1 goal by half time (score of 24-30).
The team are advised to think about the simple option, continue to go for the ball at every opportunity and put every shot up when the ball is in the circle. A strategic change in the defence sees Andrea Kinninmonth and Julie Stanbridge swapping positions in the circle. Both teams return to court, ready to fight for the game and it continues in the same contested vein as in the first half. Omega fail to turnover the game as much as in the earlier quarters and more errors are made overall. AFN are quick to punish the errors and open up the lead by a further 3 goals, resulting in the score of 36-45 to AFN going into the final quarter.
Omega are reminded that the game is not lost in the last interval of the game and all players appear determined to give all they’ve got to the bitter end. Once again Omega fail to turnover ball possession as much this quarter, but also make very few errors. The game is a battle of the shooters, each team accurate in converting the goals when they have the opportunity. As much as the team give 100% to the game, the lead proves too much and AFN take the game 63-52.
Whilst the game was lost, the Omega team should feel proud of their performance and their achievement throughout the season. Achieving 2nd place on the table in their first season in division 2, is fantastic! Usually, 2nd place would result in promotion for the 2nd year running, but with Cheshunt 1 being demoted from East Region League, we rely on Harpenden getting through the Regional Play-offs to determine our fate.
A big thank you to Chloe D’Arcy for plugging the gap whenever we’ve needed her this season and playing brilliantly on every occasion…we couldn’t have achieved 2nd place without you! Another big shout out to the supporters not only from today, but those that have turned out regularly over the season…the difference you make to us players is amazing!