Honiton Netball League week five round-up

PUBLISHED: 14:18 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:18 22 October 2019

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It has been a turbulent two weeks of netball in the Honiton Netball League; week 5 saw all games be played, but in week 6 of the winter season, yet more fixtures had to be postponed due to weather conditions, writes Steph Upson.

Week 5

Division 1

HNC Hotshots have now played 2 games and won both games after a successful win over Sidmouth Toucans. From the very first centre whistle, Hotshots took control of the game and they were leading 11-3 after the first 12 minutes. Toucans began to find their feet in the second quarter and went from scoring only 3 goals in the first quarter to taking it up to securing 12 overall, however Hotshots continued to play well and despite the best efforts of Vicki Russell (Wing Defence for Sidmouth Toucans), they also continued to net the goals, taking the amount scored overall to 17. In the third and fourth quarter, Hotshots were well into the swing of things and gelled well as a team to continue putting on defensive pressure with some particularly fine work from Jane Masoli - Hot Shots' Wing Defence. This defensive pressure teamed with carefully thought-out passes and skilful shooting, secured the win for Hot Shots with the final score being 37-22.

Michaela Newton, from Signs South West who is the team's captain and Goal Shooter, called her team's week 5 game, "soggy" and thanked the ladies of Hi Q, "…For a crash course back into div 1" after Signs South West (SSW) were defeated 33-13. Despite the Sign shooters finding their range early on, SSW were struggling to take the ball through court to goal with Hi Q dominating the play in the mid-court and making skilful intercepts. Hi Q were the dominant side throughout the game despite Orla Hankin's best efforts for Signs. Unsurprisingly, Laura French was voted Hi Q's player of the match for her work as Goal Shooter.

Division 2

Beer Blazers and 3Ts found themselves in a nerve-rackingly close game. Both teams started well with quick movement down the court from both sides. 3Ts edged ahead with 1 goal, ending the first 12 minutes 7-6. A fantastic battle continued between the teams with the attackers from both teams competing to get the ball to their shooters. A couple of errors from 3Ts, paired with some deft defending allowed the Beer-side to net more goals and lead by 15-12. In the third quarter, 3Ts' defensive pressure was a force to be reckoned with and some shots were missed by the Blazers. This permitted 3Ts to catch up and narrow the goal difference, bringing the score before the final quarter to a draw at 24-24. It was all to play for in the final 12 minutes with both sides wanting to secure 3 points to assist them to stay near the top of the division 2 table. The last quarter started with trepidation and errors from both sides, but a little more so from the Blazers. 3Ts managed to pull ahead and secure 2 more goals, giving them the win by the sound of the final whistle. The game ended, 34-32 to 3Ts. Gemma Langham's excellent attacking and accurate shooting was rewarded - she was selected as the Blazers' POTM. Meg Gooding's agility and great use of space when playing as Wing Attack earnt her the POTM on behalf of 3Ts.

Otter Valley and Ridge Roofing were against each other for both teams' second match of the winter season. It started off very close between the two sides: by the end of the first quarter Otter Valley led by 1 goal at 4-3. In the next 12 minutes, play continued to see the ball making its way up and down the court fairly evenly but Ridge Roofing took advantage of a turnover and managed to pull ahead so this time it was their turn to be up by 1 goal at the end of the second quarter, 10-9. However, everything changed after half-time. Otter Valley found a new lease of life and seemed to settle into their attacking whilst also defending skilfully, allowing them to pull away to win 27-17 by the final whistle. Sam Brunskill's defensive display as Goal Keeper did not go unnoticed and she was chosen as Ridge Roofing's player of the match. Wing Defence and Captain, Victoria Paley, picked up the award for Otter Valley as a result of her impressive intercepts.

Division 3

There was another extremely close game between HNC Honeyz and Sidmouth Kites. By the end of the first quarter, it was a tie with both teams having scored 3 goals each. In the second qarter, Honeyz edged ahead of Kites by 2 goals, so the half-time score was 8-6. In the third quarter, the Honiton ladies continued the pattern of leading by 2 so going into the final quarter there was still everything to play for. Sidmouth Kites fought hard and played determinedly but being 2 goals behind in the previous 2 quarters hindered them and they found it hard to narrow the gap and get ahead. Honeyz secured the win by one solitary goal; the final score was 18-17. Kerry Gibbs played particularly well for the Honeyz and picked up the player of the match accolade and Mandy French shone for the Sidmouth side.

It wasn't such a close game between Heat and Ottery-based Firecrackers. Heat stormed ahead from the first whistle and by half-time they were up 25 goals to Firecrackers 3. Play continued in this fashion despite some determined work put in from Nicky Brook of Firecrackers'. By the final whistle, it was 44-9 to Heat. Pippa Mostyn was the star shooter for Heat, in position as Goal Attack.

Week 6 - Division 1 games only due to rain.

After Signs South West lost to Hi Q in their previous week's match, they were looking for a win against Blackdown. An exciting first quarter saw the ball travel up and down the court repeatedly with both sides having equal chances at goal. SSW narrowly took the lead by 1 single goal so it was 10-9 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Blackdown made some turnovers and got ahead by 3 goals, taking the score to 20-17. In the third quarter, SSW managed to only net 5 goals whereas Blackdown secured 8, giving them a clearer lead going into the final quarter. Signs did not give up in the final quarter and continued to attack and defend well, but it wasn't enough. Blackdown continued to lead and ended winners with the final score being 38-31. Laura Wells' work as Goal Attack for Blackdown led to her achieving POTM. Jodie Rylance's strong attacking form earnt her the POTM for SSW. Blackdown's week 6 win over Signs South West has resulted in them sitting at 3rd in the table, based on goal difference.

Two young sides were against each other for the first time this season: Sidmouth Eagles and Jaguars. In a thrilling first quarter, 18 goals were scored - 10 by Eagles and 8 by Jaguars. In the second quarter, Eagles managed to net 17 goals to themselves whilst Jaguars only got 5 more through the hoop. In this quarter, a player from Jaguars was cautioned by the umpire which potentially effected the girls' game play. A second caution came in the third quarter, to yet another Jaguar player, and this may have again hindered the girls' positive mental attitudes as they merely managed to get 2 more goals through the hoop whilst Eagles continued to storm ahead. In the final quarter, Jaguars succeeded in regaining their confidence and showed some of the skilful play they displayed in the first quarter, allowing them to narrow the goal difference. However, the damage was already done - Eagles were ahead and uncatchable. The Sidmouth-side won 48-23. Both Centre-position players (Immy Hewitt for Eagles and Jaz Wellman for Jaguars) were awarded the POTM awards as they both had such dynamic presence on the court.

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