Eagles 40 - 28 Newbury
With a starting seven of Anna, Holly, Keira, Amelia, Izzy, Lottie and Grace we got the luck of the toss to have the centre pass but in a sign of what was could be to come, Newbury got the turnover and went 1 up. For the next 10 minutes the play on both sides was turnover after turnover – and the score climbed steadily for both teams. After some strong defence and intercepts we started to gel, putting points on the board without reply thanks to some top quality shooting by Grace – eventually finishing the quarter 12 - 6 up.
For Q2, Sophie came in as GA and Lottie had a break. With an Eagles centre pass and some strong defence we were quickly 15 - 6 up and then piled on the pressure with great intercepts. Excellent linkages between Izzy, Amelia and Sophie saw pressure build on the Newbury defence. Combined with much better work in our defensive circle and across the court saw us deliver a much better 2nd quarter to win the period 13 to 7, finishing 25 - 13.
Q3 saw a bench change with Lottie as GA, Sophie as GS and Grace taking a break. Newbury had the centre pass and with a turnover we started the 3rd Quarter strongly taking the first point. With some great defence and intercepts from Anna and Holly and some brilliant intercepts from Keira, leaping like a flying salmon, we built the pressure in the first few minutes but Newbury pegged us back to see us narrowly win the period 7 to 6, finishing 32 - 19.
The final quarter saw Grace come back on a GS and Sophie take a break. Whatever team talk the Newbury coach had given her squad, it had worked as they came out fighting with 5 points on the bounce before we were able to sink one. The flow of play then was with us, and our centre court players ensured that the ball was kept in the opposition half. Thanks to accurate shooting by Grace and Lottie we put a few on the board without reply. The flow of the game was then tit for tat until the final whistle which saw the score 40 - 28.
With strong determination and resilience shown across the court, it was our toughest battle so far this season and it has identified some things for us to work on for the future.
There were elements of brilliance in all the players, and Keira was awarded player of the match by the Newbury team.