Dandylions v WOSPS Netball
Wednesday 8th March
Today's Dandylions v Wosps netball was hosted by Kilgraston and, as ever, was very well contested. Fettes have dominated the netball circuit this season, so on paper, the Dandys looked to have the stronger squad. However, having been involved in Dandys / Wosps fixtures for many years now, experience has taught me that on the day, paper counts for nothing! The A's played first and, unsurprisingly, the Fettes girls dominated the majority of the positions. Naesi was our sole representative for the As and it instantly became clear that her selection was thoroughly merited. She proved what a versatile and athletic player she is and moulded into the team effortlessly.
Wosps 20 - Dandylions 32
The game itself was a fantastic display of netball from both sides. The shooters, in particular, on both teams were outstanding and rarely missed an opportunity. The Dandylions got off to the stronger start and had secured a 12-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. We had taken quite a large squad so made three changes for the second quarter. The Wosps did the same and during the second period started to reduce the deficit. They scored 6 goals without reply before the Dandys steadied the ship and once again found their game; the half time score being 15-10. Quarters three and four saw much of the same. The Dandys continued to dominate play but the Wosps were constantly at their heels. The Wosps never managed to take the lead but had the Dandy's defence not been so efficient at keeping the ball out of their defensive circle, I have no doubt that the Wosps shooters would have made short work of the relatively small difference.
As it turned out, the Dandy's managed to win back the trophy (having lost it last year) and all 10 girls who played for the A's should be very proud of their individual and collective performances.
Then it was the turn of the Bs and this game was in the balance the whole time.
Wosps 16 - Dandys 16
Lucy, Millie and Chloe all featured in the starting lineup as C, GA and GK respectively. Anna came on and played quarters two and three as WA and I could not have been more proud of their performances. For every goal that we scored, the Wosps replied with one of their own. In fact, there was never more than a two goal deficit between the teams throughout the entire game.
Playing at GA, Millie was awesome. Although her movement was superb, it was her shooting that grabbed the spotlight and she ended up scoring 13 of the 16 goals. As ever, Lucy was a bundle of energy at Centre. Her knowledge and perception of the game enabled her to out manoeuvre her opposite number, and she in fact controlled large chunks of the game. Chloe also justified her selection and although playing slightly out of position as GK, her strength, height and agility made life for the Wosps GS very difficult indeed.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was 5-5 whereupon, in the second quarter, both teams scored a further four goals, making the score 9-9 at half time. By this time all 10 girls in the squad had played, so for the third quarter we were able to make a few more changes. Changes such as these are all very easy to make, however, it places huge demands on the girls, expecting them to link with players they are not familiar with, as well as at times, playing out of position. This was very much the case with Anna. Accustomed to playing WD she slotted seamlessly into WA and proved pivotal in nearly every attack. Her work rate and energy were relentless and she too thoroughly justified her selection for the squad.
As the third quarter morphed into the fourth, it was evident that there really was nothing to split the two teams. The third quarter score line of 15-15 inadvertently piled the pressure onto the girls to pull out all the stops for the final period of play. With pressure mounting, slight panic ensued and possession was lost and regained constantly; frustrating enough I’m sure for the players but nerve-wracking for the spectators! With three minutes to go, the Wosps took the all-important one goal lead and it looked as though that was going to clinch them the narrowest of victories. However, determined not to be outdone, the Dandylions threw every ounce of effort into the final 2 minutes and with just 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Millie held her nerve and guided home the equaliser.
Yes, it would have been lovely to come away with two wins, however, to choose a winner between these two sides would perhaps have been unjust as it was so evenly contested throughout. So, very well done to all 5 St Mary's Dandylions and thank you to Kilgraston for hosting a fantastic afternoon of netball. The standard of play was without question, some of highest I have witnessed in all the years I have been involved, so a huge congratulations to all the girls who played this afternoon.