Omega 1 met Norfolk Utd in the East Region, division 1 fixture on Sunday 27th October. Omega expected a tough and closely contested game as is usually case when these teams meet. With Leigh Rees-Reynolds injured, Nicola Rantell steps up from Omega 2 to help in defence along with her usual team mate, Emma Faulkner, who is happy to take the bench, prepared to take the court if needed.
Norfolk start the game, but WD, Nicola Rantell is quick to stamp her mark on the game, intercepting the first centre pass, allowing Omega to steal the first opportunity at goal and GS Hannah Brown rewarded her efforts. Omega take the 2nd goal, but Norfolk respond and succeed in taking the next 2 goals due to a missed shooting chance by Omega. Omega apply the defensive pressure on the next Norfolk centre pass, forcing their opposition to error and the ball goes off the sideline. Omega seize the advantage and once again GS Hannah succeeds in converting the opportunity to another goal for the scoreboard. An attempt to feed the shooters goes astray and unjustly awards Norfolk with a goal line throw. Omega defence are keen to regain the possession and stand strong with marking the throw and turn over the possession. The team take the ball to the shooters, but a footwork call sees the ball returning to Norfolk and this time they succeed in gaining the goal. GD, Claire Daw marks her GA well and wins a rebound from a missed attempt at goal, which the team succeed in taking to GS Hannah, to finish off. A force-feed by Omega into Hannah is intercepted by Norfolk’s GD, but it’s quickly won back by C, Lucy Hoskin in Omega’s shooting third and the ball finds GA, Natalie Faal who is the one to reward Lucy’s intercept. A penalty for Omega, but it’s a tad far out and GA, Natalie misses the shot, but her determination in defending swiftly pays off as she turns over the play and this time succeeds in gaining the goal. With 20 seconds remaining on the clock, Omega are a little hasty in trying to feed their shooter and Norfolk’s GK intercepts the feed. Norfolk attempt to take the ball to their shooters, but Omega defend hard, determined not to allow their opposition to steal the final goal of the quarter and their efforts pay off as they defend well to prevent the final goal being made. The score at the end of the first quarter being12-9 to Omega.
Norfolk start the next quarter and once again, WD, Nicola is hot on their heals, stealing the ball at their centre pass, but she is off balance as she attempts to throw and the ball is returned to Norfolk as quickly as it’s won. However, their GA misses the shot and GD, Claire is quick to recover the rebound an the ball is soon with Hannah for the goal. Omega pressures the Norfolk Centre pass as they defend well, which forces Norfolk to error and Natalie Faal gains the goal. Superb 2-hand marking and timing on the jumps by GD, Claire, sees her win the ball as Norfolk takes a goal line throw-in and once again, the team work well together to take the ball to their shooters who secure the goal. Omega take the first four goals of the quarter, which allows them to increase their lead and gives them a great start to the quarter. They have a second roll of 3 consecutive goals shortly after, but Norfolk respond and fight back to stay in the game and they replace their GA after an injure call, which helps them to get on a roll themselves with a run of 3 consecutive goals and shortly after, another run of 4. A fantastic feed from C, Lucy Hoskin to GS, Hannah to gain the goal, rewards the rebound gained by GD, Claire Daw after a missed shot by Norfolk. The final centre pass of the 1st half of the game is once again Omega’s, but with only 5 seconds on the clock, Omega’s panic to find their shooter, forces them to error and the ball goes off the goal line. The first half of the game ends 29-23 to Omega.
The 2nd half is started by Norfolk again and as has occurred in both quarters of the 1st half, Omega’s tight defence sees Norfolk err0rring and the ball going off the side-line, followed by Omega stealing the 1st goal, swiftly followed by securing their own centre pass. Norfolk take the next 2 goals as Omega error with a 3-second call on the edge of the circle and are punished by their opposition. Omega loose the ball in the shooting circle as an inter-pass is attempted over the GK, but the GK reads it well and takes the ball in the air. Norfolk take the ball down court to their shooting circle but their GA goes off the goal line in an attempt to gain a better position and isn’t grounded before receiving the pass. Omega take the ball down court, but loose possession before reaching their shooting circle and finally, Norfolk take the goal. Norfolk WD picks up a caution for persistent infringement and their WA calls for injury time and is replaced. Norfolk attempt at goal, but miss and Omega’s GA, Natalie punishes their error. GK, Phoebe shines as she reads the game well and intercepts the ball to gain another goal for her team. A steal from WD, Nicola gives the advantage to Omega again by intercepting the ball mid court and the goal is achieved by GS, Hannah. Norfolk’s WD receives a warning and within seconds of the game re-starting, she calls for injury time and is replaced on court. A much more even quarter than those of the first half of the game with each team contesting hard and securing 2 goals at a time in cycles. The score going into the final quarter is 39-33 in Omega’s favour.
As has occurred all through the game, the final quarter is started by Norfolk and for the first time all game, they secure the first goal of the quarter. Omega’s first turnover comes as Norfolk force feed their GS and the solid defence from Omega’s defence sees the ball go off the goal line. Omega take the ball to the shooting circle, but an attempt at goal is missed, however they re-gain the ball for a second chance. This is also missed due to a footwork call in the circle, but Omega defend hard and before the ball leaves Omega’s shooting third, GS Hannah wins possession of the ball and this time works is successfully to goal. Some great marking of the ball allows Omega’s GK, Phoebe to steal the ball and the team play the ball well down court, with much control and discipline, however the shot is missed. The ball is in the Norfolk shooting circle, but miss two attempts at goal and GD, Claire consistently as she has been all game, wins the rebound, but she is unbalanced as she attempts to throw and Norfolk regain possession and take the goal. This quarter, Omega display great ball control and discipline, making sure the pass is on before moving the ball to goal, which they achieve consistently. Some further pressure and turnovers from GK, Phoebe, GD, Claire and WD, Nicola who all work well together to keep the defence pressure applied to the end of the game, succeeding in turning the game and picking up tips and loose balls as a result. Both teams kept up the tempo and gave their all to the bitter end, but a win of 51-42 to Omega is achieved.
A big thanks to both Emma Faulkner for being prepared to sit on the bench the whole game in support of the team and for Nicola Rantell for playing and giving her all throughout. The entire team fought hard for the whole hour of play time and didn’t let up the pressure at all. A well deserved win and won they have been seeking from the start of season.
Player of the match goes to WA – Molly Brett.