Netball’s unbeaten Wednesday
A textbook BUCS Wednesday for UMWNC saw an incredible six wins from six, with five teams progressing to the next round of their respective cups and all the squads being collectively awarded the ‘Club of the Week’ accolade by the AU for the second week running.
After a couple of league losses this season, the fourth team began their cup campaign in some style against Liverpool John Moores 3s. A flying start saw the girls in purple surge into an early 8-2 lead and their performance only continued to improve as the match went on. Despite playing away from home, Manchester were the better team throughout, thanks to the accuracy of their shooters and good fluidity through the centre court. This — combined with excellent play from the defensive unit — put their opposition under huge pressure, creating multiple interceptions and turnovers. The final score ended 39-22 in Manchester’s favour and a special mention goes to players of the match, Kate Lynch and Ella Marshall.
Taking on Huddersfield 2s, the sixth team, yet to lose a match this season, also began strongly. A competitive match, Manchester had to play their best to ensure victory and they did exactly this, with the defence working well to force errors in the circle and on their opposition’s centre pass. In the second half Huddersfield began to tire and Manchester capitalised on their superior fitness levels to earn a 34-22 victory. Fay Hully was awarded player of the match for her superb shooting.
Also unbeaten in their three games so far, the fifth team took on Bradford 2s at the Armitage Centre, subsequently stamping their authority on the Northern Conference Plate competition. It was a result that was never in doubt; an excellent start only helping to secure an inevitable victory. Manchester’s strong defence conceded only ten goals and player of the match, Anna Staton, played well at both C and WA, effectively controlling the movement of the ball through court. All three of the team’s shooters helped score a huge eighty-six goals, contributing to an incredible score-line which earnt them the ‘team of the week’ accolade from club captain, Alice Brown.
The third team made a long journey to Sunderland worthwhile, securing a 45-30 cup win against the latter’s first team. It was a similar story to many of the other teams’ victories this week and a match in which all the regular training and early morning fitness sessions seemed to pay off. As the game wore on, Sunderland’s fitness levels dropped dramatically and their play became scrappy allowing Manchester to increase their lead, thanks in part to the copious amount of interceptions and tips from player of the match, Kate Fifield.
After a loss away from home last week, it was a return to the Armitage for Manchester’s first team, who took on newly promoted Worcester in the Premier North League. Not knowing what to expect from their opponents, the girls in purple made a steady start to head into the break up by six goals. They continued to extend their lead throughout the rest of the first half but a sloppy third quarter saw Worcester reduce the deficit back to twelve with fifteen minutes remaining. Although victory was almost guaranteed, Manchester saved their best quarter until last with the defensive duo of captain, Claudia Payne and player of the match, Honor de Winton, creating plenty of turnovers which the centre court and attacking players converted. It was a solid team performance, with all nine players in the squad taking to court to record a 61-39 victory.
Last, but by no means least, the pressure was on for the second team to complete an unbeaten netball Wednesday. Travelling to Bangor to take on their first team, it was once again a case of a dominant defensive performance from Manchester. Despite struggling to maintain momentum for the duration of the match, Megan Woodworth made a real impact in the centre of the court and player of the match, Jojo Madden, combined well with the shooters to create an impressive lead, which Bangor never threatened. A 57-37 cup victory rounded off an incredibly successful day and one which the club will be hoping to emulate many more times this season!