Today was the battle for the top of the table position in Division 2 Herts League and Omega were nervous, not only to face the top team, but due to being depleted in key positions. This being a battle between AFN 3, who for years were a Division 1 team, demoted to Division 2 just last season and Omega, who were promoted this season as the winners of Division 3. Once again, super-sub Chloe D’Arcy steps up to the plate and fills in for the team, this time in her usual GA position. Molly Brett picks up the GD mantle from her usual WD position and Lisa Short takes on WD instead of her usual C position.
The opening quarter and Omega may be nervous, but start the game steady and settle their play well. Tight defensive play from GK, Andrea Kinninmonth, GD, Molly Brett and WD, Lisa Short, winning 5 turnovers for the team, giving us more opportunities to secure the needed goals for the game. As a whole, the team make few court errors this quarter, holding on to the ball solidly. An excellent start to what is destined to be a close game throughout, with the score at the end of the first quarter being 13-15 to AFN.
The team talk in the quarter was a boost and testament to the play, with the team told to continue to play as they have started. Both teams are keen to take the game with accurate shooting demonstrated by both team and the court play being neck and neck. Omega struggle with the 2nd pass from centre court and AFN have tightened their defence, taking advantage of our struggle, winning the ball back again on 6 occasions on the Omega attack play. Evening this up, the Omega defence players are tight on their opponents and turn the game over 8 more times, creating further chances for the team to up the scores and they pull back the score to a draw of 28-28 by half time.
Once again, the Omega coach applauds the team’s play and the team are determined to give their best shot at taking the top of the table. The team are determined as they take the court to start the second half of the game and once again this quarter, the whole team give all they have got. This quarter, Omega tend to follow the ball in their attacking play, instead of using the whole court and creating the space. This said, the team maintain ball ownership and managed to take the ball to goal consistently, finished off by almost 100% conversion (only one missed shot this quarter) by both GA, Chloe D’Arcy and GS Hannah Brown. By the end of the quarter, Omega take their first lead in the game, with a score going into the final quarter with Omega two up and the score of 42-40.
The final team chat and it’s again very positive with the potential win within our grasps. The team are told to play safe and maintain ownership and they head back on court ready to fight to the end. Another exciting quarter with Omega upping the anti for the majority of the quarter, adding a further two goals to their lead, but some fatal errors in the final 3 minutes allow AFN back into the game and they are quick to punish Omega’s errors, closing the gap to a draw in the final minute of the game. Omega manage to take the next centre pass to goal and there are a mere 10 seconds remaining on the clock as AFN take the final centre pass. The tension is high as AFN successfully find their GS, who scores the equaliser with 0.6 seconds remaining.
A very cleanly fought game by both teams, with each equally keen to take the win. The game was neck and neck for majority of the time, with Omega just taking the edge in the second half, but unable to hold on to the lead gained. The teams meet again at the beginning of April for a re-arranged fixture from the 1st round of games. This is once again expected to be a very competitive, closely fought game and one to watch as once again both team compete for the top slot!