Starting Team – GS – Hannah Brown, GA – Emma Faulkner, WA – Lisa Short, C – Molly Brett, WD – Claire Statham, GD – Queenie Pearce, GK – Louise Cousins.
After a frantic week for Omega’s captain Louise, trying to complete a squad, we were ready to take on Buntingford. As always Omega started with apprehension as some players were not in their usual positions to begin with. There was some great play from the attacking end with some accurate passes into the circle to GS Hannah by C, Molly and before we knew it, Omega were pushing ahead. Tight marking in the circle by both GK, Louise and GD, Queenie created Buntingford to wobble a bit and reduced their shooting accuracy. Omega’s defence grabbed some great rebounds, resulting in the ball being brought down the court quickly, but sometimes too quickly, causing passing mistakes into the circle. Often with GS, Hannah double marked, GA Emma would command the majority of the circle. By the end of first quarter, Omega were 6 goals ahead, with a score of 16-10 in Omega’s favour.
During the break, Buntingford made some tactical changes that took Omega by surprise and they scored 3 straight goals. Omega’s centre pass was marked well, making it a bit frantic. Passes into the circle were again, panicked and were often intercepted by a strong Buntingford circle defence. This quarter saw some great interceptions by C, Molly and WD, Claire. This helped keep Omega 3 ahead for a while, but unfortunately this wasn’t enough to keep the 6 goal lead, ending the 1st half of the game with Buntingford taking the lead of 1 goal and a score of 28-27.
In an attempt at regaining the lead, Omega made a change in the defence, changing Claire into the circle at GD and Queenie picking up the WD position. The Omega team knew they had some work to do to hold on to the game. However the pressure and adrenaline proved too much, with the team making errors with their passing, having not truly grounded before attempting the pass, compounded by some missed attempts at goal. Buntingford were quick to capitalise on the Omega teams errors increasing their lead to 6 goals in the 3rd quarter and a score going into the final quarter of 40-34 to Buntingford, but Omega were not ready to concede the game.
A change to the mid court for the final quarter, swapping WA, Lisa into C and Molly from C to WA. With fresh legs in the key linking position, Omega knew this was the final chance at taking the game. Some superb feeding from all attacking players into GS, Hannah started the quarter well with Omega fighting to stay in the game. Tight defence by both GD Claire and GK Louise saw several interceptions and rebounds being won, allowing further attempts to bring the ball to goal, but Buntingford were determined to maintain their lead, forcing errors on Omega with passing the ball and winning interceptions to return ball ownership consistently. Determination from the whole Omega team resulted in them winning the final quarter, reducing the Buntingford lead to 4 goals by final whistle, allowing them to gain the needed 2 points for the table. Final score was 49-45. A tense and tight game throughout with determined play seen from both teams, with Buntingford having the edge with disciplined play, that won them the game.