Omega 1 travelled to South Benfleet to face Eastwood in the return match in Division 1 of the East Region League. Travelling with a core 7 players and reliable sub, Andrea Kinninmonth for the bench, the game is expected to be a tough one, as Omega lost to Eastwood in the 1st round.
A nervous Omega start the game and are quick to secure the first goal, but Eastwood respond in the same manner. Omega then loose possession of the ball on their next centre pass, as the ball is fed into the shooting circle and Eastwood see their first opportunity to take the lead, but miss the shot and Omega’s second chance is rewarded by GA, Natalie Faal. GD, Claire Daw picks up a loose ball and it’s Omega’s chance for a lead, but as the feed to double-marked GS, Charlotte Jordan is intercepted, the tables are turned. Eastwood miss the shot again and once more, Omega secure their 2nd chance at the goal. Eastwoods WA is called for footwork and Omega try once more for a lead but the shot is missed. Eastwood falter mid-court under the pressure applied by Omega’s mid-court players, Sophie Cockrill, Lucy Hoskin and Hannah Sell and the ball is thrown off the side-line, giving Omega another chance which they grasp. With 1 min 17 secs remaining, Eastwood are called for a held ball on a goal-line pass in Omega’s shooting circle, but Omega fail to convert the shot and Eastwood secure the goal with seconds remaining in the quarter. The final centre pass of the quarter is Eastwoods, but they only have time for the first ball, before the whistle is blown to end the quarter 10 – 9 to Omega.
Omega have the advantage of starting the second quarter and once again are quick to take the first goal, but Eastwood are not phased and take the next 2 goals to equalise the score 11-11. Strong defending by Omega forces a held ball call against Eastwood for a goal line throw in and GA, Natalie Faal once again rewards Omega’s play with the goal. Omega get on a roll, defending well, resulting in defence players Claire Daw and Phoebe Gillen intercepting the feeds and gaining several rebounds. This coupled with the team controlling their passing well down court, allowed them 6 straight goals to begin their lead in the game. The rest of the quarter goes goal for goal until the final centre pass which is Eastwoods. Lucy Hoskin intercepts the ball mid-court and the team take the ball to Charlotte to shoot. The first attempt is missed as the defender contacts her just before the whistle, but she secures the second attempt to take the final goal of the first half of the game, leaving the score at 27 – 18 by half time.
Eastwood have a change of shooters for the 2nd half and their first attempt at goal takes 3 attempts before the shot is converted. WD, Hannah Sell shows great vision and seizes the opportunity to feed GS, Charlotte Jordan from the mid court superbly, who rewards her with the goal. Defenders Phoebe Gillen and Claire Daw are on fire this quarter, intercepting 7 feeds between them and gaining rebounds. Additionally, WD, Hannah Sell finds GS, Charlotte Jordan with ease on a couple more occasions, again feeding her with great accuracy from the mid court. Eastwood’s GK picks up a caution for persistent obstruction, but this hasn’t phased the Omega shooters who secure 17 goals as a result of the pressure applied by the rest of the team and the turnarounds gained. A great quarter for the team and the lead is increased to 17 goals, with a score of 44-27 going into the final quarter.
Going into the final quarter, Omega are told to remain controlled and disciplined with their play. GK, Phoebe is hot of the mark as she manages to steal the ball as Eastwood try to feed the first ball into their shooter, but a missed shot by Omega sees the ball returning to the Eastwood shooters and they secure the goal on the second chance. Omega force the opposition to error on a couple of occasions early in the quarter and take advantage of the turnaround. However, Eastwood do not give up and fight hard to close the gap in the score, but the play from Omega is too strong to break down. A low scoring first quarter soon changed for the rest of the game and Omega take the well-deserved win with a fantastic score of 59-40.
This result has moved Omega up the division table to 3rd place. A great achievement for the team, this being their first season in division 1. P.O.M. goes to WA, Sophie Cockrill.