Report by Thomas Pritchard
University of South Wales Women’s 1st 17-19 Cardiff University Women’s 4th
BUCS Netball 2017-2018 – Western 3B
Date: Wednesday November 15, 2017 (16:00)
Venue: USW, Sport Park, Treforest
In a hard-fought game it was the visitors, Cardiff University 4th, who left with the three points as they held off a fourth-quarter fightback from USW 1st.
USW went into the match off the back of a three-game losing run, and were looking to restore some confidence against a Cardiff side joint on points, having played one game less.
Cardiff’s goal attack got the scoring underway with a composed finished from close to the net. USW’s Ellie Nota getting her name on the score sheet shortly after.
Cardiff then scored two without reply, thanks to their goal shooter and GA. The home side were able to reply when they got back-to-back goals of their own, both from their GS, Emma Roberts.
The opening quarter proved to be more tactical than free-flowing. With the game contested in the middle of the court, both defences were ready to cut out any potential attacks on goal.
Cardiff replied with another two goals in quick succession, as their GA got her third and fourth of the afternoon. USW finished the opening quarter strongly, as Roberts scored a hat-trick in no time to give her side a slender 6-5 lead.
USW’s Nota netted her second goal at the beginning of the second quarter. Cardiff then scored three without reply, via their GS (two) and GA. Roberts levelled the game just before half-time.
There was an unfortunate end to the first half when the in-form Roberts went off with an injured knee, and then Cardiff’s goal attack sustained the same injury and had to leave the court.
The teams went in to half time tied at 8-8. It was a low scoring half, but an interesting one to watch as both teams’ quality cancelled each other out.
Chloe Khaira replaced the injured Roberts and she immediately got off the mark at the beginning of the third quarter. The away side then scored four unanswered goals – with their GS netting three and GA getting the other.
Nota reduced arrears before Cardiff’s GS restored her side’s advantage. Replacement GS Hannah Evans then got her first before Cardiff scored three more, again without reply.
In a back-and-forth third quarter, Cardiff began to assert themselves, mainly through their superior control of the ball. USW managed to grab two goals back before the quarter ended, with Gwillim on target for both.
The game headed into the final quarter with the home team trailing 13-16, setting things up for a fascinating final quarter, with everything to play for.
It was USW who drew first blood, with Evans shooting on target to reduce the deficit to two. Cardiff’s GA replied shortly after to restore her side’s lead. The teams continued to trade goals as Evans and Cardiff’s GA found the net once again.
USW started to believe that they could win when they scored two goals in quick succession through Gwillim and Evans. At this point, the game was tied at 17-17.
However, it was Cardiff who were able to apply the clinical touch and two goals, one from the GS and the other from the GA settled the game.
The home side will be disappointed, but it was one of those games where the loser was always going to feel they could have won, such was the competitive nature of the match.
The result means that Cardiff 4th leapfrog USW 1st, still with a game in hand.
Next up for USW 1st is Cardiff 5th away in two weeks’ time, whilst Cardiff 4th entertain table-toppers Bristol 4th..
University of South Wales 1st (Black and red with green bibs): GK. Sophie Powell GD. Freya Soper WD. Agie Hoare C. Georgia Brooks WA. Ffion Gwillim GA. Ellie Nota GS. Emma Roberts
Subs: Izzy Chilcott, Lily Lloyd-West, Megan Baker Rees, Hannah Evans (Quarter 3 GS), Chloe Khaira (Quarter 2 GS & Quarter 3 WA), Chloe Hodgetts, Terri Pearce (Quarter 2 C), Camille Harrison, Isabella Raynan (Quarter 2 GD), Jessica Stancliffe (Quarter 2 WD), Jessica Rees, Faye Aston-Rigby (Quarter 3 GD), Katherine Ford, Bethany Procker, Frankie Ward.
Cardiff University 4th (Black and red)