Omega 2 vs Cheshunt – Saturday 22nd September 2018

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Today, Omega 2 faced Cheshunt, who were  demoted from division 3 in the East Region League and relegated back to division 1 in the Herts County League.   Omega feel fairly confident with a squad of 8 for the game, but are conscious of how the game can go.    The starting squad is GS – Hannah Brown, GA – Sophie Humphrey, WA – Leanne Mansfield, C – Nicola Rantell, WD – Ruby Brett, GD – Claire Daw and GK – Lousie Cousins, with Molly Brett starting on the bench.

Both teams take the court and Cheshunt start the game.  They take the ball straight to their shooter, however fail to convert it on the first attempt.  Omega take the rebound and begin to move the ball back down court, but a mishap in the mid court area sees Cheshunt win back the ball, gaining a 2nd chance and this time they succeed with scoring.  Cheshunt steal the ball from Omega as our WA goes offside in our shooting circle, but the Cheshunt GS footworks as she positions herself to shoot, allowing Omega to take back ball ownership.  The team demonstrate great ball skills, controlling the ball down court and finding the shooters for an equaliser.  Omega make several errors this quarter with three footwork calls and three offside calls against Omega attack around the shooting circle, giving Cheshunt the opportunity to gain the ball.  However, defensive play by the Omega attack, with strong ball marking allows them to quickly win back the  balls, gaining the goals to take an early lead.  This quarter also sees GD, Claire Daw and C, Nicola Rantell intercepting many balls from their oppostion, but as quick as they win it, the team error resulting in rapid return of possession to Cheshunt.  Leanne picks up an early caution from the umpire for persistent obstruction in the final minutes of the quarter.  In the last few seconds of the quarter, realising the countdown, Nicola feeds a fantastic ball into Hannah Brown who scores the final goal of the quarter just before the whistle and the opening quarter ends with a score of 18-6 to Omega.

As a result of the early caution, Leanne takes the bench and is replaced by Molly Brett at WA.   The team are advised to play steady and maintain control and they return to court to start the second quarter.    The team are on fire as they take the first 5 goals of the quarter.   Claire Daw continues to intercept the ball well and solid ball play allows the team to find their shooters and score the goals.  A wild ball from Omega into their shooting circle sees Sophie Humphrey demonstrate speed and agility as she drives deep towards the goal line, taps the ball as she is mid-air, ensuring it remains court bound and finds Hannah Brown, who rewards Sophie’s efforts with the goal.   The team appear determined this quarter, with Sophie and Nicola intercepting several balls, Claire and Louise picking up some rebounds and circle interceptions, whilst mid-court players Ruby and Nicola both hunt the loose balls well.  A couple of errors made with one centre pass not received, inaccurate passing at the shooting circle edge and more footwork calls give Cheshunt opportunities to claw back goals which they achieve on all occasions.   Twelve seconds to go and it’s Omega’s final centre pass, but slow movement to the centre circle results in Omega being called for ‘delayed play’ and Cheshunt punish with the final goal leaving the half time score at 38-18 to Omega.

Another change to the team sees Ruby Brett take the bench and Leanne Mansfield take the WD position.  Cheshunt start the quarter, but fail to convert the shot and Claire Daw wins the rebound.  The team take the ball to Hannah, but a footwork call as she positions to shoot gives the ball back to Cheshunt.    Cheshunt fail to convert the goal once more.  Louise wins the rebound and this time Omega secure the goal.  Omega are called for a couple of contacts and a replay of a ball, all of which prove costly errors, as each time Cheshunt punish with goals.   A chance for Omega to pull back a goal as Cheshunt’s GA breaks at their centre pass, but the feed from the circle edge to the shooter goes off the goal line and possession is lost to Cheshunt, who score.   Some great steals are seen this quarter by Leanne, Nicola, Molly, Sophie and Claire, alongside rebounds by Louise, but Omega make 10 fatal errors in the quarter, with fluffed passes, more footwork calls and a couple of ball handling calls, which allow Cheshunt to remain in the game and take the 3rd quarter 16-13, reducing the lead by 3 goals going into the final quarter.

Hannah Brown takes the bench and Ruby Brett steps into the GS position.   Cheshunt start the quarter again and this time, secure the first goal.  Sophie breaks on Omega’s centre pass, but the ball is quickly won back by Claire Daw and safe passing by the team, taking the ball to Ruby at GS to reward the team with the goal.   The first few minutes sees Molly and Claire winning possession from the opposition and Sophie and Ruby securing the goals.  However the quarter turns as Leanne picks up a warning for persistent obstruction and footwork,  Louise picks up a caution for unnatural stance when positioning herself next to the shooters when the penalty is set and a third caution is awarded to Nicola for persistent obstruction, all in the same half of the court!   The team are uneasy in their play as they are desperate not to pick up any more cautions, but they press on with some great feeds into Ruby in the circle and the pressure is maintained in defense with tight marking and ball hunting.   The remaining 8.9 seconds on the clock and Omega attempt to secure the final goal of the game, but fail to find their shooter with their feeds into the circle and Cheshunt prevent their last attempt.    Cheshunt once again win the quarter 18-15, but the 20 goal early lead in the 1st half of the game proves too much to claw back and the end score is 66-51 to Omega.

A game of many infringement calls, resulting in a lack of flow and constant disruption.  Omega were unsettled by the amount of calls and cautions, which was evident in their play, but they secure the win which positions them mid-table in a Division they have only just been promoted to…an achievement to be proud of!



Omega Youths vs Hornets – Sat 15th Sept 2018

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Youths vs Hornets 15th Sept 2018 - HDNL

Their second game of the new season and Omega Youths meet Hornets 1 in the HDNL fixtures.   With one of the reserves being called in to work at short notice, Holly Bennett steps up as reserve and Paul Merrick obliges as scorer.  An additional change to the team mid-week with Ellie Reynolds set to play out of position at WA, due to another work call.

The team take the court and struggle to maintain ball ownership to find their shooters and Hornets capitalise on the pressure they apply, taking a swift lead.    Omega take time to settle and show signs of fatigue early in the game, with a request to leave the court at the first interval, but show flashes of controlled play.  Advice is  given to the team on ball placement, confidence  to shoot when in the shooting circle and  timing the move for the pass.

With reserves, Holly Bennett and Rachel Toye taking the court at C and WD for the 2nd quarter and some advise given by their coaches, the team are a little more controlled, but Hornets prove a tough opposition once more as they increase their lead in the game further.

Millie Pickard and Louise Merrick return to court in the 3rd quarter with rested legs, replacing Jodie Gill at GD and Ellie Reynolds at WA.  The team think about their passing more, and some steady and solid play is evident, with GK Lauren Lee reading the ball well and picking up some great balls through interception in the circle.

The final quarter and the final change to the squad sees Ellie Reynolds taking the centre position, a position unfamiliar to Ellie and never played in a game before, but she takes up the challenge with gusto and provides a solid link in the mid court.  Additionally, Jodie Gill returns to court, replacing Rachel and the rested legs result in more controlled feet.  The final score for the game is 39-14 to Hornets.

Evidence of some solid play during the game with longer passes and movement into space is encouraging.    Fitness is key for working on in the coming weeks, along with circle holding and marking…some key pointers for training!

Omega 2 vs SAS Reds – 15th Sept 2018

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After a fantastic win to start the season last week, the team know that the pressure is on to deliver in the same vein.   This week, Omega 2 take on SAS Reds, who were 2nd in the Div 1 league table last season, so they know it’s going to be no walk-over.  With a couple of the team unavailable, Claire Statham, who hasn’t played on a regular basis since April,  steps in to play in defence and Leanne Mansfield joins in attack, both of whom are playing their first game of the season.   Omega take the starting centre pass and for the first few minutes, the game goes goal for goal, until Omega falter, breaking at their centre pass, which allows SAS to take an early lead.  Eight minutes in and SAS are leading 9-4 but a great rebound by GK, Louise Cousins gives Omega an opportunity to close the lead and the team take advantage of the steal.  The final 48 seconds of the quarter, with the score at 16-9 and it’s SAS centre pass.  Tight defensive play by Omega sees Louise intercepting the feed to the SAS GS and Omega are given another opportunity to reduce the lead, however the team fail to convert the much needed goal, but manage to prevent SAS from scoring before the whistle.

A change of defensive strategy in the 2nd quarter and Hannah Brown moves from WD to GS, swapping places with Ruby Brett.  The team have the advantage of starting the quarter again and they demonstrate great control in playing the safe ball until they find their GS, who secures the goal.  SAS WA footworks on the next centre pass and Omega capitalise on their error and manage to claw back 3 consecutive goals to open the 2nd quarter, reducing the difference to 4 goals. Unfortunately, the rest of the quarter doesn’t flow in the same manner and basic errors result in SAS punishing the team at every opportunity.

Another change to the team at half time, sees an unwell Nicola Rantell leave the court, Claire Statham moving from defense to pick the centre position and injured Andrea Kinninmonth taking the court, again for the first time this season.  The game starts with Omega breaking at their centre pass and this continues relentlessly throughout the quarter, with all players at the traverse line making this basic error at least once in the quarter.  This allowed SAS to open the lead radically, not only securing goals at their own centre pass, but punishing Omega for their continuous infringements, resulting in Omega’s heads dropping and  SAS increasing the lead by 13 goals as a result and ending the 3rd quarter 34-47.

The final quarter and a final change sees Nicola Rantell re-entering the court at WD and Ruby Brett taking the bench.  Omega have a 13 goal lead to close, but a pep talk from the coach sees the team returning from the break with more fight and determination, but with a 13 goal lead, it’s an almighty task that the team face.   This quarter, the team are more disciplined and controlled in their play and the quarter goes goal for goal throughout.  A much better display of play from Omega sees them maintain the status quo on the lead, however unable to reduce it, ending the game with a final score of 49-62 to SAS.

The score does not justify the court play in general, with Omega allowing their opposition to take the game with several basic errors which cost them the game.  A nervous and tense third quarter, proved costly, but one to learn from.  Omega had several new combinations today, but as per the beginning of  last season, the team need to get to know each other’s game and gel for the rest of the season.

Omega 2 vs Equals – Saturday 8th Sept 2018

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The first game of the season for Omega 2 and it’s a Herts County Game. Gaining promotion to Division 1, having just missed out on the top spot of the 2nd Division table at the end of last season, Omega are set to face Equals, who finished 4th place in Div 1 last season, so they’re unsure of their fate.   A new team for the game with the introduction of newcomers, Ruby Brett at GS and Nicola Rantell at C and a couple of the squad missing, results in some players starting out of their usual position.

Omega start the game with the opening centre pass, securing the first goal of the game.  Equals struggle to control their play to start the quarter and Omega capitalise on it, taking an early 5 goal lead.  Omega settle quickly and the ball is well controlled by Nicola and Molly as they bring it down court, connecting well with both Sophie and Ruby to secure the goals, allowing the team to hold on to their lead for majority of the quarter, but a Equals begin to claw it back.  A break by Omega GA at our centre pass allows Equals close the gap to 3 goals and the next centre pass is theirs, from which secure their goal, closing the lead even further.   Claire Daws reads the game well and leaps to great height, intercepting the ball in the oppositions shooting circle, giving Omega the advantage once more.  With 40 seconds remaining, Equals are quick to pick up a loose ball in our shooting circle and punish with a goal.  The final 18 seconds and it’s Equals taking the final centre pass, but Omega apply the pressure and manage to prevent the goal, ending the quarter with a score of 16-13 to Omega.

Omega take the first centre pass of the 2nd quarter and settle nicely to take the first goal once again.   Equals error on their centre pass, giving Omega a second opportunity at goal, but we fail to hold on to the ball.  The team all play well, holding the lead throughout, but Equals are fighting back and close the score down to 2 goals difference, making the bench and spectators nervous, but that’s short-lived.  The team tighten up, read the game well, resulting in superb interceptions from Nicola Rantell and Claire Daws, allowing Omega to open the game once more.   Fantastic marking of the ball by Hannah Brown at WD in the final few minutes, forces Equals to error and Nicola is quick to pick up the ball and win ownership for Omega.  The first half of the game is a great opener for the team and their teamwork on court has paid off with the first half ending with an 8 goal lead and a score of 33-25 to Omega.

A switch at half time sees Hannah Brown reverting to her usual GS position and Ruby taking up WD.  An unsettled start to the second half of the game, but the team soon adjust and they begin to force their opposition to error.  Omega swiftly take control and the change of tactic at half time sees a much tighter defence played in the circle by Louise Cousins and Claire Daw, with Equals not so certain on feeding their shooting circle.  Omega maintain an 8 goal lead throughout the quarter, increasing it further in the latter part.  An attempt to increase it further with a final goal as the last centre pass is taken with just 10 seconds remaining, but Equals double up on our GS, intercepting the final attempt of the quarter and preventing the goal and the 3rd quarter ends with a score of 50-40.

The final quarter and Omega are keen to secure the game with steady, controlled play, which they maintain and increase their lead.  Equals break on their centre pass, which Omega are quick to punish and take the goal, taking the score to  53-40 to Omega with the first three centre passes.  We sustain the pressure on Equals both down the court and in the defensive circle, forcing errors on their opposition.  The whole team look comfortable on court and their confidence is evident as they approach the final whistle.  The feeds into Hannah at GS are spot on and the conversion rate from our shooters matches.    With 9 seconds remaining in the game, Omega make a final attempt to secure a goal, but they can’t quite make it.  The game ends with a fantastic high score of 72-53 and a very happy team.

A superb start to the season with all players giving their all and committing to the game.  A well fought game throughout by all and a great to watch the team play a controlled game in their first match together and their first game in Division 1.