After a fantastic win to start the season last week, the team know that the pressure is on to deliver in the same vein. This week, Omega 2 take on SAS Reds, who were 2nd in the Div 1 league table last season, so they know it’s going to be no walk-over. With a couple of the team unavailable, Claire Statham, who hasn’t played on a regular basis since April, steps in to play in defence and Leanne Mansfield joins in attack, both of whom are playing their first game of the season. Omega take the starting centre pass and for the first few minutes, the game goes goal for goal, until Omega falter, breaking at their centre pass, which allows SAS to take an early lead. Eight minutes in and SAS are leading 9-4 but a great rebound by GK, Louise Cousins gives Omega an opportunity to close the lead and the team take advantage of the steal. The final 48 seconds of the quarter, with the score at 16-9 and it’s SAS centre pass. Tight defensive play by Omega sees Louise intercepting the feed to the SAS GS and Omega are given another opportunity to reduce the lead, however the team fail to convert the much needed goal, but manage to prevent SAS from scoring before the whistle.
A change of defensive strategy in the 2nd quarter and Hannah Brown moves from WD to GS, swapping places with Ruby Brett. The team have the advantage of starting the quarter again and they demonstrate great control in playing the safe ball until they find their GS, who secures the goal. SAS WA footworks on the next centre pass and Omega capitalise on their error and manage to claw back 3 consecutive goals to open the 2nd quarter, reducing the difference to 4 goals. Unfortunately, the rest of the quarter doesn’t flow in the same manner and basic errors result in SAS punishing the team at every opportunity.
Another change to the team at half time, sees an unwell Nicola Rantell leave the court, Claire Statham moving from defense to pick the centre position and injured Andrea Kinninmonth taking the court, again for the first time this season. The game starts with Omega breaking at their centre pass and this continues relentlessly throughout the quarter, with all players at the traverse line making this basic error at least once in the quarter. This allowed SAS to open the lead radically, not only securing goals at their own centre pass, but punishing Omega for their continuous infringements, resulting in Omega’s heads dropping and SAS increasing the lead by 13 goals as a result and ending the 3rd quarter 34-47.
The final quarter and a final change sees Nicola Rantell re-entering the court at WD and Ruby Brett taking the bench. Omega have a 13 goal lead to close, but a pep talk from the coach sees the team returning from the break with more fight and determination, but with a 13 goal lead, it’s an almighty task that the team face. This quarter, the team are more disciplined and controlled in their play and the quarter goes goal for goal throughout. A much better display of play from Omega sees them maintain the status quo on the lead, however unable to reduce it, ending the game with a final score of 49-62 to SAS.
The score does not justify the court play in general, with Omega allowing their opposition to take the game with several basic errors which cost them the game. A nervous and tense third quarter, proved costly, but one to learn from. Omega had several new combinations today, but as per the beginning of last season, the team need to get to know each other’s game and gel for the rest of the season.