Tense start sees interceptions from Helena and Marta and equally from Royals. It’s Royals that get it together first and score 2 great long-range shots. Eagles take time to settle, losing possession by launching the ball forwards and missing long-range shots. Royals go 3 up without reply but Eagles defence keep them in it and an interception on 7 minutes see the first score. Royals respond making it 4 and it takes another Helena intercept and a great shot from Maddi close it out 4-2 Royals.
The sound of Neil calling “Stop Launching” rings across the court; 5 times in the opening 3 minutes Eagles get the ball into the D only to see it go behind. Eagles are passing well, 3 fast moves and 3 scores take Eagles into the lead on 6 minutes for the first time. Royals come back immediately, then they’ve scored 4 without reply as Helena, who has done a stunning job in defence falls badly and has to go off injured. Priya leaps up to take her place. Eagles are playing well but are forced to shot from distance and it’s just not gong our way today. 9–6 Royals.
More changes of position and players as we try to respond to Royals who score 3 in 2 minutes, then it’s 5 in 4 minutes without reply and Royals have the upper hand. A long shot from Charlotte comes off to get Eagles on the score sheet; we have to get closer and Maddie does with 2 goals in quick succession. Royals aren’t done and they take their chances in the closing couple of minutes as ours go wide. It’s 17-10 and the girls have a mountain to climb in the last quarter.
Fresh legs in the form of Izzy and Tabitha gives us a boost but Royals again make a fast start with 2 goals in 2 minutes. Charlotte response and the intercepts start to come. The chances are there, shots hit the rim, one sits there for an age then drops in…it’s all Eagles now with some great passing but it’s too late and despite a good quarter the game ends in defeat for Eagles 21-13. Royals converted their opportunities on a day when finger tips made the difference.
Maddi was deservedly chosen as our player of the match, having played 4 different positions. Whilst we choose their excellent Goal Shooter. Well done Royals on an undefeated season. Well done Eagles on a great season too.