CATMOSE Cougars are champions of the inaugural Rutland County Netball League season by the tightest of margins after two enthralling games completed the summer fixtures last week.
The title rested on the match between second-placed Cavells and Oakham Ospreys with Cavells needing to win by 30 clear goals to finish top of the table ahead of the Cougars.
Cavells dominated from the off despite impressive defensive play from Ospreys’ Gemma Hughes and Pam Chamberlain, which kept Cavells down to nine goals in the first quarter. Vicki Bradley poached four at the other end.
Megan Clarke and Carly Latham kept Ospreys to just two goals in the second quarter, and Ospreys chances were further thwarted when Katie Burton was forced to retire with a finger injury.
Despite a great effort from Laura Wilkinson for Cavells, the final score ended 37-11, leaving Cavells four goals short of their target, leaving them in second place spot with Cougars top - much to the horror of league founder, captain of Cavells, and daughter of the Cougars captain, Tina Sayers.
Pink Panthers beat DPS 35-34 to move into fourth place on the final day of the league.
Both squads were at full strength and, in a repeat of their first meeting, the first 12 minutes saw end to end action with Panthers leading by a single goal at the end of the first quarter.
Panthers pulled ahead during the second quarter, leading by six thanks to the partnership of Naomi Cooper and Penny Cooper, but DPS fought back, netting a massive 22 goals in the second half of the match.
In the final seconds of the game, with the score level, DPS missed an opportunity to score thanks to Panthers’ defensive efforts, enabling them to work the ball back into their attacking quarter to score the winning goal and snatch victory.
Organisers of the league thanked everyone who has helped make the first season such a success.
The winter 2012/13 season will start in October with more teams joining the league. And it is not too late to join. Teams are looking for more players to sign up.
For details see www.rcnl.co.uk or call Tina on 07841 592490.
Rutland County Netball League
P W L D F A Pts
Cougars 12 10 2 0 428 218 54
Cavells 12 10 2 0 403 196 54
Ospreys 12 7 5 0 261 260 42
Panthers 12 6 6 0 244 307 39
Mercury 12 5 7 0 327 355 37
DPS 12 4 8 0 259 341 31
Jewells 12 0 12 0 87 422 10