Paulton A were on home soil for the first time this month against a Knights side that they only narrowly beat a fortnight previously. With the home team expecting another tight match, Paulton A knew that they would have to work hard from the start in order to ensure another victory against a team that would fight them all the way.
The first quarter saw Paulton start strongly with Deb and Hayley linking well to feed the ball into the shooting pair, who were finding the net with relative ease. At the other end of the court, Paultons defence were working hard to turnover the ball and, as a result, were severely limiting Knights’ ability to put up any shots. In contrast, the away team were struggling to find their feet following the starting whistle and, with Paulton pressuring every pass, they could not move the ball down the court as well as they had during the two team’s last encounter. The first quarter ended strongly in Paulton’s favour with score at 12 – 3.
Building on the momentum gained in the first quarter Paulton again started stongly. Laura, Victoria and Charlotte were joining up well as a defensive unit and making it incredibly hard for the away team to feed the ball into their shooting circle. However, Knights seemed to find a rhythm as the quarter wore on, helped by the changes made to their attack during the quarter-time break, and were able to start putting the ball through their net. At the opposite end of the court Paulton’s shooting pair of Davina and Cheryl were still scoring at every attempt, despite the best efforts of the Knights defence, and pushing the game further out of the away teams reach. The second quarter ended with Paulton building on their lead with the score at 23 – 10.
The start of the third quarter saw the rain start to fall. This seemed to unsettle the home team as basic errors started to creep into their game, of which the opposition took full advantage. The Kinghts defence also appeared resurgent and were working well together to force Paultons shooters out of the circle, thereby limiting any opportunities to shoot for goal. The slippery conditions also meant a lot of loose balls that had to be chased down, of which Knights seemed to be winning the most. Charlotte, at GK, made some fantastic interceptions towards the middle of this quarter and recovered several rebounded shots as she started to read her opposing players game. Linking well with Victoria at GD, she began to take control of the circle which prevented Knights from taking full advantage from any turnovers of play that they made through the mid-court. This penultimate quarter ended with both teams scoring 9 goals to take the score into the final quarter at 32 – 19 to Paulton.
It appeared that all the effort taken up by the third quarter rally from Knights had taken its toll as the visitors seemed unable to keep up with the pace of the game in the last quarter of the match. Paulton’s midcourt trio of Laura, Hayley and Deb were able to navigate the ball through the Knight’s defence with minimal resistance and provide Cheryl and Davina with good shooting opportunities, catching the Knights defence completely unaware with some quick and accurate passing into the circle. Davina’s superb athleticism also enabled Paulton to recover several rebounded shots and then net them successfully and this, along with some fantastic long-range shots from Cheryl, kept Paultons hold on the match secure. Charlotte and Victoria continued to defend the home teams goal with authority, only allowing Knights to score 5 goals throughout the quarter. The match ended with the final score 43 – 24.