Loreto’s netball team were missing some key players and others playing out of position, when they hosted Oldham Sixth Form College (OSFC) in their third fixture of the season this week.
The game was extremely close from the outset, with Loreto and Oldham going goal-for-goal from the first centre pass. Abi was dominant in the Loreto goal-shooting circle, and was rewarded with joint coaches’ Player of the Match for her performance. Rachael, Keira and Milly supported Abi in Loreto’s attacking end, remaining resilient and patient, against some physical defence from Oldham. The opponent’s attack end was also slick, with their playmaker goal attack causing all sorts of headaches in Loreto’s defensive end. The first quarter finished 13-14 to OSFC.
Loreto made changes heading into the second quarter, with Darcy coming on as wing attack to inject her lightning speed into Loreto’s attacking end. Darcy was also rewarded for her outstanding performance, with joint coaches’ Player of the Match, alongside Abi. This quarter was just as close as the first, with neither team prepared to give an inch. Loreto reacted to a swing in momentum in OSFC’s favour, and made some changes part-way through the quarter, courtesy of the rolling-substitution rule, with Esme moving to goal defence, Lucy moving to goal keeper and Keira re-entering the court as wing defence. These changes paid off and Loreto managed to turn over some key ball, with Abi and Rachael capitalising and rewarding their defensive teammate’s effort. The second quarter finished 26-27 to OSFC.
The third quarter saw Charlotte come on as goal attack, Darcy re-positioned to centre, Rachael taking the wing attack spot and Milly moving to the unfamiliar position of wing defence. Charlotte always brings a cool, calm and collected presence when she comes onto the court, which helped nudge Loreto ahead at the start of the quarter. However, OSFC were not willing to let the home team pull too far ahead and forced Loreto into making some uncharacteristic errors. OSFC introduced a different centre and wing attack combination in this quarter, which was paying dividends for them in their attacking end, finding space effortlessly and scoring with ease. The third quarter finished 43-37 to OSFC.
The fourth and final quarter of the game saw Isabel make her Loreto College debut, coming on as wing defence. Looking comfortable in wing defence, Isabel supported her defensive teammates, Lucy and Esme, as they turned over a crucial ball. The game continued to be a tight contest, with both teams riding the wave of momentum at key stages of the game. Half way through the final quarter, Milly re-entered the game as wing attack and Rachael moved to centre. Again, OSFC’s clinical centre-pass-to-goal set ups proved too much for Loreto in the end, with the away team taking the game by 6 points. The final score finished 51-57 to OSFC, a great game overall – well played to all! Although Loreto’s missed the win this time, it was a supreme team effort with Alexandra making her debut for the team, along with Isabel. Well done to them both.
Honours for this game go to: Milly (opposition’s player), Abi and Darcy (joint coaches’ player) – well done!
Squad: Alexandra, Lucy, Esme, Isabel, Milly, Keira, Darcy, Charlotte, Rachael and Abi.
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