Birmingham Nor-thumped in the Netball
Despite showing signs of promise and a great deal of spirit, UOB Netball 1st’s were soundly beaten by Northumbria 53-27 in a high quality game in front of a sizeable crowd at Munrow, who were treated to some excellent netball.
Birmingham, who were hoping to bounce back after a close-run defeat to Leeds Beckett in their opening game, looked a bit tentative in the opening stages and allowed the untested Northumbrians to establish a quick lead. It wasn’t until six and a half minutes into the first quarter that Birmingham scored their first goal. Luckily for our girls, the visitors were too aggressive in defence and gave away enough fouls in dangerous places to keep them within sight during the first quarter which ended at 12-6, mainly thanks to the finishing of Thea Grattidge.
For the second quarter, the coach made an effective substitute in attack by introducing Rhiannon Ireland as Goal Shooter and the Australian immediately clicked into gear showing some great movement and clinical finishing. The girls can perhaps reflect that the ball was too slow in reaching her in comparison to the visitors who were incisive in their play with their Goal Attack showing some real class.
It was too much for the girls to cope with towards the end of the quarter as Northumbria extended their lead to 25-18 at the half time break. Birmingham were showing signs of class, particularly for their 13th goal where they moved the ball through the hands very quickly but Northumbria were turning the ball over well and able to counter quickly as a result.
In the third quarter, the visitors upped a gear and began to show an incredible fluidity in their attacking play and were not only creating their own chances but also benefitting from free passes gifted to them. Their impressive Goal Attack from the first two quarters had moved to Goal Shooter and the Northumbrians were reaping the rewards, able to open up a sizeable advantage and secure themselves a big win to open up their campaign with the quarter finishing at 40-18.
In the fourth quarter, the girls came roaring back and the game began to even out once more. Although it was now a lost cause, it is a reflection on their spirit that they continued to play passionately and enthusiastically, aided by terrific support from the sidelines. As a result, the girls managed to steady the ratio and restrict the final result to only a 26 point margin.
The stand out performer throughout was the captain Maddie Turner whose range of passing impressed in the centre of the pitch as did her leadership both on and off the pitch. The girls should not feel too hard about the result and can go into their next game against Worcester hopeful of picking up their first win. There is no doubt that their defence could do with some work but they showed a lot of class on the ball and were just beaten by a better team on the day.