Today, Omega 2 meet Watford Premier in Herts League, division 1. Both teams were promoted from division 2 last season and so far, Watford Prem have yet to loose a game, sitting top of the table, whereas Omega are sitting sixth. A key game for Omega, with our usual GA, Sophie Humphry flying off on holiday today, the team know it’s likely to be a struggle.
Watford start the game and Nicola steals the ball, allowing Omega to take the first goal. Our centre pass is next and GA, Ruby Brett and GS, Hannah Brown chase a loose ball , but a fumble on the ball sees it going out of court and possession given to Watford, but C, Nicola Rantell is quick to intercept the ball and a feed to Ruby sees her convert the 2nd goal. Omega take the opening 3 goals, but Omega allow Watford a goal as a high ball from Nicola to Ruby into the circle goes off the goal line and Watford punish the error. Solid ball marking by GD, Claire Statham sees her tip the ball, which is picked up by Nicola and steady linking of the ball down court by all players, finding Hannah in GS rewarding the team with the goal. The opening quarter sees some great circle work from WA, Leanne Mansfield and Nicola, feeding the safe ball into the shooters. Watford equalise by mid quarter with a score of 8-8 and both teams are up for the win. Omega take a slight lead once more, but an error with a centre pass not received allows Watford to equalise once more. A replay of the ball by Nicola around our circle edge, gives Watford possession but their C is called for contact and Omega punish. A clean steal from WD, Molly Brett and another attempt for goal for Omega, but we fail to keep possession, but Watford’s WA contacts Molly mid-court and with 13 seconds remaining on the clock, Molly feeds a superb ball straight in to Hannah who secures the final goal of the quarter giving Omega a 1 goal advantage to go into the 2nd quarter 14-13.
Omega start the 2nd quarter, but the Watford WD intercepts the ball to take ownership, which is short lived as Molly steals the ball straight back for the goal. Omega take an early lead of 3 goals with a score of 18-15 just over 3 minutes into the quarter. This quarter sees some solid positioning by Hannah in the circle and accurate feeds from the attack, but Watford fight back and the lead swaps over. Watford’s WA footworks giving Omega a chance to claw back a goal, but the ball is lost as we try to feed our shooters, however great reading of the game by Nicola sees her winback the ball and the 2nd opportunity is grasped by Omega. A further error by the opposition sees Watford’s GS ball handle and once again Omega take the goal. With a remaining 2.56 on the clock, Omega equalise and tight defence by Omega sees Watford’s C being pulled for 3 seconds, allowing Omega a chance to take the lead again, but a falter mid court, looses possession of the ball. The play continues and with the final minute remaining, Claire intercepts the ball in the Watford shooting circle and this time, Omega take the lead on the goal. Omega’s centre pass and with a bit of tooing and froing, Omega manage to hold on enough to take another goal, leaving 7 seconds for the Watford centre pass. Watford centre takes her time getting back to the circle and steps in as the whistle is blown and Omega are expecting a delayed play call to start the second half of the game.
Surprisingly, Watford are not penalised for delayed play and they start the second half, taking the first goal. Omega fluff the next centre pass, allowing Watford to equalise yet again and with the next centre pass theirs, Watford take the lead. A contact call by the Watford GS gives possession to Omega, but possession is lost again with a replay call. Watford take it back to their GS, but she misses the shot and GK, Louise Cousins takes the rebound, the team steady the play down court and Hannah rewards with the goal. A mishap with confusion over player movement at centre pass, sees Watford intercept and score the goal. This allows them to step up the lead to 3 goals…a repeating toing and froing of the lead. Watford’s GK picks up a caution for persistent contact and Omega’s passing become frantic this quarter. Watford’s WA contacts on their centre pass as the score is once again equal at 36-36 giving the lead right back to Omega as they score 2 consecutive goals, but it’s short lived as Watford claw back to equalise. Watford’s GD calls time for injury and a substitution is made. As the play restarts, Nicola reads the game and steals the ball and Omega capitalise. More footwork errors by both sides see the ball possession changing and in the final seconds, Watford make an attempt at finding their shooter for goal, but lob the ball off the goal line as the whistle is blown.
The score going into the final quarter is 42-39 to Omega and neither team are ready to concede the game. Watford have the advantage of starting the quarter and take the first goal as both Omega defence are pulled for obstruction. Tight defence forces Watford to throw the ball off the sideline and Omega steal a goal. Watford close the lead to 2 goals and Omega loose their centre pass, which is not received mid court, allowing Watford to close the lead by a further goal before equalising on their next centre pass. Omega loose their heads for the next minute or two and Watford take advantage, increasing the lead to 3 goals, but a held ball by Watford WA and Omega take the opportunity to secure a goal. Omega fluff another centre pass but tighten up their defence down-court, forcing errors on Watford allowing them to claw back a couple of goals with a score of 51-50 to Watford. A held ball by Watford’s C and Omega have the opportunity to equalise but they loose the ball mid court with poor passing. We somehow claw back the equaliser and with 45 seconds remaining in the game, Omega have a 1-goal lead. They hold on to the lead, ending the game 56-55 to Omega.
A game that could have gone either way with a constant battle for the lead. A tense and exciting game to watch, ending with a well deserved win for Omega 2, never tiring and fighting to the bitter end. Fantastic result, beating the top of the table, who had not conceded a game this season, until today! A big thank you to Claire Daw and Andrea Kinninmonth for coming over as reserves and to Charlotte Jordan for stepping up last minute to score for the team.