The first game of the second half of the season and it’s the rematch between Omega 2 and Equals. Both teams are mid table, with Omega sitting just 2 places above Equals at the end of the 1st half of the season.
The start of the game is Equal’s but a missed shot by their shooter is rebounded by GK, Louise Cousins and the team take the ball to the circle, but the ball is lost and Equals take it back to their shooter, who misses the shot once more and a second rebound by Louise gives Omega another chance, which this time, GS, Hannah Brown succeeds in converting, giving the first goal of the game to Omega. A chance to take the next goal and an early lead is missed as a held ball call at our centre pass proves fatal and Equals punish. Both teams battle hard to gain the goal advantage and Omega’s WA, Leanne Mansfield shows great determination, tipping the ball at Equal’s centre pass, but can’t hold on to it and is called for ball-handling. Next is an unforced error by Equals WD, who footworks and it’s Omega’s turn to gain from their error. The quarter is tight until the final minutes, when a couple of errors with force-feeding and missed shots allows Equals to end the quarter with a 2-goal lead and score of 16-14.
A change at quarter time sees Emma Faulkner take the bench and Nicola Rantell picking up the centre position. A great start to the quarter sees Omega clawing back the 2-goal deficit in the first three minutes, equalising the score 17-17, but the draw is short lived as Omega loose their centre pass and Equals capitalise on it. Another error at our next centre pass allows our opposition to increase the lead once more as they punish every error with their accurate shooting. The remainder of the quarter is neck and neck, with some great accuracy in shooting by GA, Ruby Brett, converting 100% of her shots. A rebound by Louise Cousins gives the team an opportunity to close the lead but Equals read the pass mid court and steal the ball and the goal as a result. The final 8 seconds of the quarter and first half, and WD, Molly Brett seizes the opportunity to lob the ball in to Hannah Brown, but with slightly more power behind the ball than needed, it goes off the goal-line. The first half of the game ends with Equals still in the lead by 3 goals, with a score of 29-26.
The third quarter sees Ruby Brett taking the bench, replaced at GA by Emma Faulkner. The quarter starts and Omega know the game is not lost and continue to contest the game. Some great ball marking by WA, Leanne Mansfield on a sideline throw in, wins a held ball call as the marked player cannot find her team members. The ball is linked well down to Hannah, who rewards the team with the goal. Great circle defence by GD, Sam Abbott and GK, Louise Cousins results in Equals force-feeding their shooters, which goes off the goal-line. Omega take the ball to their shooters again, but the ball is lost once more and Equals take the goal. A great steal mid court by C, Nicola Rantell and the ball is taken to GS, Hannah Brown, who falls to the ground and calls time for an ankle injury, which results in her leaving the court and being replaced in GS by Ruby Brett. Some great turnovers by the mid-court players, Molly Brett, Nicola Rantell and Leanne Mansfield, coupled with accurate shooting by Emma Faulkner at GA, allows Omega to take the lead mid quarter with a score of 37-35. The team work together to apply the pressure on the opposition and link well on the attack play, with more turnarounds by all players, than errors on display this quarter. The final 2.30 mins on the clock and Omega loose their centre pass, which allows Equals to claw back the lead and equalise the score 40-40, but the team fight hard once more to gain back their lead. The final 8 seconds on the clock and Omega loose possession of the ball and as defence have taken their eyes off their opposition, the ball finds Equals GA with ease, however she misses the final opportunity to equalise as she misses the shot and the quarter ends with a score of 42-41.
A final change to the team, with Hannah Brown returning to court, this time at the other end of the court at GK, replacing Louise Cousins who takes the bench. One goal ahead going into the final quarter, but it’s Equals who restart the game, taking the first goal to equalise. A missed shot by Omega sees us loose the ball, however Equals WD is called for ball handling and Omega gain another opportunity, but a fluffed pass in the shooting circle sees the ball back in the oppositions hands once more. GD, Sam Abbott prevents Equals from capitalising on the goal, intercepting the pass at a crucial point and this time Omega take to goal. With ten minutes remaining, Omega are up by 3 goals, but Equals are not giving up and manage to reduce the lead to just 1 goal once more. The lead fluctuates again with Omega increasing to 3 goals and Equals reducing it back to 1. The final minutes with 1 goal lead and it’s Equals centre pass, but they loose the ball off their goal line and Omega seize the chance to secure their lead and succeed in their mission. 1.30 remaining on the clock and another error by Equals sees the ball traverse the side-line and Omega gaining another goal to increase their lead. 10 secs to go and GK, Hannah Brown intercepts the ball in the circle and the team are swift to link the ball down court to their shooters. An obstruction by Equals GK, sees Omega gaining a penalty shot on the final whistle. As Emma takes the shot, Equals GD also obstructs, leaving a clear shot for Emma, who doesn’t disappoint!
An exciting, albeit sometimes scrappy first game, with displays of ups and downs in the play throughout. Nevertheless, a great result, with the final score of 53-49 to Omega, which pushes them into fourth position on the division table and just one point behind third place, SAS Reds, who they play next week!