Omega 1 travel to Bedfordshire for an away game against MK Netters Gold with four of their reqular squad missing. The team have had to steal both 2nd team shooters for the game, leaving the 2nd team depleted for their fixture and a very different attack for their game. The team are mindful that this is going to be a tough game.
Omega win the toss for the centre pass and start the game, but receive a held ball call on the opening of the quarter and MK Netters are quick to punish, taking the first goal. MK error on their centre pass, which sees the ball going off the goal line and Omega have the opportunity to take back a goal. The ball is taken to the shooting circle, but passing out from the shooters to the attack on the circle edge sees the ball going off the side-line and the ball back in MK’s possession. Omega are not put off by the bad start and fight back to take the next 3 goals. Both teams error in this opening quarter, but Omega’s defense, GK, Claire Daw, GD Leigh Rees-Reynolds and WD, Hannah Sell are hot and apply the pressure winning interceptions and rebounds from their opposition 7 times and a further twice by the mid-court players, C Megan Pryde and WA Natalie Faal, who pick up a loose ball each. The interceptions are often short lived, with Omega once again loosing ball ownership down-court, but their determination and accurate shooting by both GS Hannah Brown and GA Sophie Humphrey pays off by close of quarter as they create an early lead of 14-9.
The team are happy with their opening quarter and are set to play in the same vein going forward, but are told to play the safe ball. The 1st centre pass is Omega’s but a held ball call for the 2nd ball is called and MK punish the error. MK are by no means ready to concede the game and a battle for goal continues with the early minutes going goal for goal. Omega’s GD, Leigh defends hard and wins several interceptions this quarter, but each time they are short lived as the ball is lost through poor passing and players not being free to receive a pass so her hard work is lost down court. MK get on a roll and take 6 goals in a row, but their shooters take 10 attempts at one goal, each time picking up the rebound as their GS has the height advantage. Omega get back into the game, taking the next 3 goals and the final few minutes go goal for goal. MK Netters win the quarter 14-11, but Omega hold on to a 2 goal lead with a score going into the second half of 25-23.
A slight tweak mid-court sees Hannah Sell picking up the C position and birthday girl, Megan Pryde moving into WD. MK start the quarter again and an immediate steal by GK Claire Daw on a feed to the shooters, gives Omega the opportunity to take the goal, but once more, the ball is lost mid-court and MK take it to goal. The defence are on fire again this quarter, applying the pressure and forcing balls off the goal line, but Omega struggle to hold on to the ball and put it in the net. MK’s GA is called for footwork at a score of 30-29 to Omega and Omega have the chance to open the lead again, but once again, they fail to keep possession. A held ball call on Omega’s 2nd ball on their centre pass allows MK Netters the opportunity to level the score 31-31. The remaining minutes go goal for goal and with a score of 35-34, Omega miss the shot and MK have a further opportunity to equalise to go into the final quarter, but they also miss the shot, allowing GK, Claire to rebound for a closing goal and a 2 goal lead, but time runs out as they swiftly take the ball to the shooting circle, but the whistle blows before the chance at a shot.
Just one goal in it going into the final quarter with a score of 35-34 to Omega and Hannah and Megan reverse roles once more. The 1st centre pass is once again MK’s and their C is called for held ball. Omega try to force feed our shooters and loose the opportunity gained and MK punish the error. The quarter goes goal for goal in the opening minutes, but MK manage to nudge into a 1-goal lead. Omega equalise 41-41 and the next centre pass is theirs, but the ball is lost in the circle and MK punish once more. Omega manage to equalise again at 42-42 and again have the opportunity on their next centre pass to take the lead, but MK intercept a pass and take the goal…a deja vu moment! Almost every player in the team error this quarter and very few turnovers are made, allowing MK to take hold. An extremely tight quarter and a battle to the end. Omega have several opportunities to take the lead this quarter, but mis-timed jumps on receipt of the pass, failure to loose the marker and unforced errors costs them the game. A fantastic fought game from both teams and a final score of 46-43 to MK Netters, who steal the game in the final minutes.
A big thank you to Hannah Brown and Sophie Humphrey for travelling to Bedfordshire to fill in for the team and also to Megan Pryde, playing with a hangover on her 21st! Player of the match goes to Leigh Rees-Reynolds. Well done all!