The first Regional game after over 18-months of limited court time and Omega travel to St Albans to meet fellow Herts Team, Harpenden in the 1st round. With a few of their usual team unable to play, Lucy Andrews and Laura Millard (Robilliard) step up to help out the team. The squad for the game are Charlotte Ramejkis (GS), Natalie Faal (GA), Megan Pryde (WA), Lucy Andrews (C), Molly Brett (WD), Leigh Rees-Reynolds (GD), Phoebe Gillen (GK) and Laura Millard starting on the bench.
Harpenden take the first centre pass and quickly move the ball to goal to start the scores. Omega respond, matching goal for goal. Harpenden falter on their next centre pass as strong and dominating defence by Omega’s Phoebe and Leigh in the circle, forces an error and Harpenden loose the ball off the goal line. A chance for Omega who swiftly move the ball to their shooting circle edge, but an unset landing at circle edge sends a shakey ball into the circle which is intercepted by the Harpenden GK. Harpenden try to take the ball back to their shooters, but loose it mid-court as Omega force a held ball situation. Omega have another chance and falter yet again on getting the ball to the shooters, but Omega’s GK wins a rebound which allows Omega their third attempt at gaining the lead. Harpenden intercept the ball outside the Omega shooting circle and yet again the ball is taken back down court. Both teams struggle to compose and retain the ball, but Omega’s GK, Phoebe is on form as usual and steals the feed to the Harpenden shooter and finally, Omega convert the goal! Omega are first to break the 1 for 1 goal scenario taking 3 consecutive goals, but Harpenden are keen to show they are putting up a fight for the game, taking the next 3 goals. The quarter continues with each team battling for the next goal until the final minutes, when Omega is on a roll with some great feeds from WA-Megan to GS-Char, allowing them to take the final 4 goals of the quarter, ending with a score of 11-8 in their favour.
As the team had settled by the end of the 1st quarter, they re-take the court in the same positions. Both teams are desperate to get the 1st win under their belt and they compete continuously for goal. As one team steals the ball from their opposing centre pass, the other responds on the next attempt. A fantastic steal by GD – Leigh, but Omega fail to capitalise on their gain. A determined quarter by each team, with very few errors by either side, but Harpenden manage to close the gap on the goal difference, ending the 1st half 21-20 to Omega
A change to the squad at half time, in an attempt to switch up the dynamics, sees Megan taking the bench, replaced by Laura at WA. Omega start the quarter for the first time in the game, but concede their goal to the opposition. This quarter, from C-Lucy, through to GK-Phoebe, the defence play is tight and several turnovers are won by all four players, resulting in a couple of 3-consecutive goal runs for the team. WD-Molly, intercepts a pass with great 2-hand marking. All the hard work of the defence players is unfortunately offset by several missed shots this quarter, so Omega struggle to increase their lead, but manage to gain an extra goal advantage to take them into the final quarter with a score of 30-28.
A tense final quarter, with each team knowing the win could go either way and they have to pull out the stops for the last 15 minutes. Omega start the quarter again and this time, succeed in converting their first goal. Harpenden respond accordingly, but Omega manage to make the first break in the flow of the game to gain an extra goal. Omega slowly begin to increase their lead by 5 goals in the 1st half of the quarter, but Harpenden do not give up and manage to claw it back to just 3 goals very quickly. Omega increase the lead again by 5 goals, but the final 3 goals of the quarter are Harpenden’s, which secures them their first points on the scoreboard for being within 5 goals. A battle for the win for Omega, but a win nevertheless. Final score is 39-37 to Omega.
A good win to start the season, particularly the first Regional Match in 18 months. Big thanks to Lucy Andrews and Laura Millard (Robilliard) for stepping up and helping the team out today. Onwards and upwards for the rest of the season!