Thrilling clash as GDB make debut

The Rutland County Netball League summer season began with an exciting debut for new team, GDB, at Catmose College on Thursday evening.

GDB, led by Jo Kelly, made their debut, against Fusion, in the first division two game of the opening night of the season.

Fusion dominated the first quarter, leading 4-1 at the whistle, as both teams struggled to make their mark due to windy conditions. But GDB had a stormer in the second, scoring five times a solid defence limiting Fusion to just two, resulting in a 6-6 scoreline going into the third quarter.

The third was disappointing for both sides, with just one goal apiece but with the score still level, there was everything to play for in the final period.

Team GDB took the lead, thanks to accurate shooting from GA Sarah Healey and GS Jo Kelly, but Fusion’s Lisa Reid at GA worked her way to score a number of times to clinch an 11-10 win for Fusion in the final moments.

Players’ Player Fusion, Lisa Reid.

Players’ Player Team GDB, Sarah Healey

Cavells season got off to a flying start with a gift of 30 goals and five points when Mr Gray’s Girls were unable to field a team – a disappointing start for the newly promoted Gray’s Girls, and easy points for the winter season’s division one winners.

The only division one match of the night was between Pink Panthers and Oakham Ospreys.

Panthers had a slow start, fielding just five players in the first quarter which enabled Ospreys to take a quick and impressive lead.

Ospreys GA Vicki Bradley played at her usual high standard, working the ball down court and netting a number of key goals as Ospreys opened up a wide 15-3 lead at the first quarter.

Panthers were up to six players in the second period but struggled to settle, making difficult work of finding Naomi Cooper up front.

By the third quarter, Panthers were at full strength, and it showed. Penny Cooper, at centre, fed balls to the attack and Naomi Cooper at GS made good use of these.

Entering the fourth quarter, Panthers were dominating, thanks in part to some impressive defensive work from Kate McCagney, who picked up numerous interceptions.

Osprey struggled due to finger injuries picked up by Gemma Hughes and Nicola Shaw, who were forced to play the last quarter with the use of just one arm each, but despite this, Osprey’s initial lead was too great for Panthers and they ran out 33-19 winners.

Players’ Player Ospreys, Pam Chamberlain

Stan’s Stars played Rutland Belles in the second division two match of the evening, and were joined by former Jewells captain, Michelle Pickersgill.

In turn, the Belles squad was strengthened by a number of former regulars from the disbanded Jewells squad and it was the Belles who took control from the second quarter, winning 23-7.

Players’ Player Rutland Belles, Georgina Barton-Smith.

Players’ Player Stan’s Stars, Sam Lake.

l Back to Netball sessions take place at Catmose College on Monday evenings for new and returning players.

League matches take place on Thursdays with new plauyers welcome. For details see www.rcnl.co.uk.