Our 3rd East Region game is an away game against Essex based team, Crosskeys, who Omega have struggled to perform against in the past few times we’ve played them. For the first time this season, almost the whole squad is available, with the exception of our regular GS, Charlotte Ramejkis. As we’re short on the shooting front, Laura Robilliard (Millard) steps up from the Herts County Team, to help out, so we present with a squad of 10, consisting of Megan Pryde (starting on the bench), Molly Brett (WA), Mia Kersey (C), Beth Garrod (starting on the bench), Claire Daw(WD), Leigh Rees-Reynolds (GD), Phoebe Gillen(GK), 1st timer Poppy Swain (GS), Laura Robilliard (GA) and Lucy Hoskin (bench – easing her way back from injury).
With a previously untried attacking combination, the team take the court and open the game. A nervous start sees a dropped ball at the edge of our shooting circle, which Crosskeys capitalise on and follow on to take the first four consecutive goals as Omega struggle to settle. Omega’s defence steal possession on a few occasions, but Omega fail to convert the much needed goals. The 1st quarter ends with a score of 6-14 in Crosskeys favour.
A change for the 2nd quarter sees Poppy and Laura swapping GS / GA positions, Molly Brett taking the bench and Lucy Hoskin taking the WA position. It’s almost a deja vu moment as Crosskeys score a roll of 4 consecutive goals in the opening minutes and once again, Omega struggle to gain the much needed goals to close the scores. The Crosskeys team, having played together for some years, are swift to punish Omega at every opportunity, finding their shooter who consistently converts her shots. As the final seconds count down, Crosskeys take the final centre pass and an obstruction by Omega’s C, earns her a caution for deliberate delaying of play, the play is advanced and Crosskeys gain the final goal. The quarter sees Crosskeys increase their goal difference by a further 5 goals, taking the score to 14-27 in their favour.
A big change to the team at half time sees Poppy reverting to GS, Mia moving from C to GA, Molly back at WA, Megan picking up the C position and Claire being replaced by Beth at WD. Omega start the quarter and the change quickly proves fruitful as it’s Omega’s turn to score a roll of 4 goals to open the 2nd half of the game starting with Leigh intercepting Crosskey’s first centre pass and gaining the advantage for her team. The team look much more together and the attack play the ball between each other with skill. Crosskeys C, picks up a caution for persistent obstruction around Omega’s shooting circle this quarter. The shooters work as a team and this quarter match their opposition in goals scored, allowing the team to prevent the goal difference from increasing further. A much better quarter by all and the team finally begin to work well throughout the entire court. A draw of 10-10 this quarter sees the scores going into the final quarter as 24-37 to Crosskeys.
A final change to the team in the last quarter sees Leigh take the bench and Claire return to court, this time as GD to add height in the defending circle play. A much more positive team take the court to end the game and once again, the entire team give their all. The confidence and composure has increased across the entire team throughout the game and the final quarter sees more consistent shooting conversion for Omega and more skillful ball play bringing the ball to goal. A solid performance from Mia Kersey at GA in this second half of the game, ensuring Omega gain the point they need for the league table. A fantastic 2nd half of the game with another draw in the final quarter, ending the game with a score of 38-51 to Crosskeys.
Although we didn’t get the win, the team played with determination and tenacity throughout and the confidence and control in their play grew quarter on quarter. Suddenly, the team are showing great promise for the rest of the season!