Paulton A travelled away to Oxley in the sunshine to play against Newton on Saturday 24th March. The team knew that they would be facing a tough side having suffered a defeat against Newton at the start of the season. With Davina back from a two match absence the team confidently took to the court knowing that they had to start strongly from the first whistle. The match started well for both teams with the shooters scoring constantly at each end, however as the final minutes closed Paulton found their rhythm with Debbie, C and Hayley, WA feeding the circle wide from Newton’s defenders, enabling Cheryl at GA and Davina at GS to put Paulton ahead 10 – 6.
After a positive team talk and Laura and Vanessa swapping at WD the girls took to the court with the aim of coming forward for every ball and chasing down all of the loose balls created by their constant defensive pressure on Newton. The pace of the second quarter started hard and fast with both teams making passing errors and footwork mistakes. However, Paulton were the first to find their momentum with Charlotte, GK and Victoria, GD securing valuable backlines, enabling the team to reset down the court, keeping procession of the ball for Cheryl and Davina to score some fantastic goals. However Newton continued to pressurise Paulton forcing the team to feed each other with short passes, until Davina and Cheryl found great space in the circle for some fantastic long balls in from Hayley and Debbie to finish the quarter 19 – 14.
With the temperature rising outside the team took to the court for the third quarter with Laura back on at WD. The team decided to continue defending hard throughout the court to capitalise on Newton’s mistakes. However Newton came back fighting with new energy and determination pressurising Paulton into making costly errors. This did not deter the team as they continued to fight with Charlotte consistently making interception in the circle for Victoria and Laura to work the ball down the court into the attack. Finally as the quarter drew to a close Paulton began to dominate again with Davina controlling the circle and Cheryl linking up well with Hayley to secure a 25 – 24 win.
With the end of the match in sight the team had a strong team talk in the last break with Captain Cheryl motivating the team to fight hard for the match. From the whistle Paulton came out strong, competing for balls in the air and sharpening their movement to ensure that they we were always free offering for the ball. Victoria and Charlotte continued to work hard limiting Newton’s circle movement forcing the team to play the ball back which enabled Debbie and Vanessa to pressurise their players into miss feeding the circle. Paulton converted each of these interceptions into goals as Davina out played her GK to shoot consistently with Cheryl encouraging the attack to pass the ball patiently, waiting for the perfect moment to feed the ball into the circle. At the final whistle the team had pulled away by 6 goals much to their surprise to win 38 – 32. A fantastic team effort in very warm conditions has hopefully ensured that the team’s valuable 5 points will keep them in the top half of the Premier Division.