BUCS Match Reports 16th November

Blues Match Report

What a brilliant game for the Blues! Having beat the top of the league last week, there was no rest for the Blues playing second in the table, Birmingham 2s. Knowing the match would be intense and difficult, the team were grateful for the incredible support from all their supporters this week! With Barlow out injured, the team was thankful for Sophia Martin’s swift recovery from an injury a few weeks ago, and what a comeback it was for her!

Starting 7:

GK – Phoebe Dix

GD- Felicity Elvidge 

WD – Jess Dunmore 

C – Phoebe Makin

WA – Holly Hayward

GA – El Butt

GS – Sophia Martin

The first quarter began as intensely as expected, with almost every centre pass being taken to goal by both teams. Some poor passes in and around the circle in the attacking end allowed turnover for Birmingham, though with new combinations working on court, this was – of course- understandable. Playing the team game, the Blues’ defence compensated for almost every mistake, getting continuous turnover thanks to some brilliant communication between Elvidges and Dix. Finishing the first quarter 10-12 to Birmingham filled the Blues with fight and grit entering the next quarter.

Combinations remained the same as the next 15 minutes started. A slower start to the second quarter with some unwelcome tiredness leading to a lesser pressure on Birmingham whilst taking their turnovers through court, meant the away team took the lead. The shooting statistics however, kept the Blues in the game! Some incredible team work in the circle; strong holds, triangles on circle edge and small deceiving passes between the shooters as they excelled in this, relatively new, combination. Once again, it was only passing errors and small lapses of concentration that saw Oxford fall slightly behind, entering half time trailing by 8, 21-29.

The third quarter began with Eve Tranter to WA, Katinka Mitchell-Thompson to C, Makin to WD, and Dunmore to GD. After starting strongly in the attacking end, an injury to Dunmore saw Elvidges – after a very, very short break off court – return to GD. The centre passes were slick and fast, thanks to some brilliant drives by Tranter, easily losing her defender with a variety of impressive preliminary moves and direction changes. Whilst Birmingham slightly extended their lead, the quarter ending 33-41 to the away team, each substitution made has an incredible impact, maintaining very steady and clean netball.

The final quarter saw Charlie Leach to WD. Some excellent dictating on centre passes as well as forcing wide and away from ball through court allowed huge amounts of turnover, once again executed brilliantly by the never-tiring shooters, who continued to grow as a partnership throughout the game. Once more, the substitutions made were highly effective, so far to allow Oxford to win the quarter 12-6! Whilst the quarter had been won, the lead build up by Birmingham through out the game could not quite be clinched by the Blues, with the game ending 45-47 to Birmingham. A huge improvement for Oxford upon last time these two teams came together, and no doubt, with a few more minutes the game could have been taken as a win!

A round of applause and special mention must be offered to our multi-talented players, Holly Hayward and El Butt, who both put on an impressive and energised display, despite already having played away at Coventry as a part of the Blues Women’s Basketball team!

POM Sophia Martin and Flic Elvidges

Roos Match Report

The Roos had another league game this week, playing Aston University 1s at home. The Roos came on with the strongest start that they had seen so far; the starting seven was:

GS – Ruby Turner

GA – Becca Nolan (VC)

WA – Abi Moss

C – Daisy Edwards (C)

WD – Rachel Macnaghten

GD – Ibs Laughton

GK – Minta Rimmer

There was absolutely no show of nerves, with the attack bringing each Centre cleanly into the circle and defence putting on very effective pressure that caused the Aston shooters to struggle.  This led to the Roos scoring 13 before Aston had got a single goal; the first quarter therefore ended 14-2, an impressive lead in such a short time. In the second quarter, Josie Kucera came onto Centre, continuing to hold the steadiness of the through court that allowed the Roos to calmly and effectively take all of the defensive interceptions to the attacking third. Ibs and Minta did not allow any easy balls into the shooters and took advantage of every missed shot either by preventing the pass or getting the rebound. The Roos managed to achieve the goal set by the Captain after the first quarter of doubling their score, the second quarter ending 28-6 to Oxford.

The third quarter saw some changes in attack, with Helena Cox coming onto WA and Maddie Kennard to GS, as well as Daisy coming back to C. The new attacking combination certainly didn’t seem new, with shooters Maddie and Becca working effortlessly together supported by Helena and Daisy’s accurate feeds into the circle. There was no sign of complacency despite the score margin; as the defence continued to prevent Aston Centre passes from reaching the goal, and if it did, fighting hard for rebounds and remaining loud. This defensive work was replicated by the attack too, who chased after all loose balls and halted the flow of the Aston defence in bringing the ball up.

The fourth quarter saw the same energy from the Oxford side, who continued applying pressure throughout the court. The play remained focused and calm, maintaining the same level of energy and the same number of turnovers, ending the game 60-21 to Oxford. A very impressive match for the Roos!

Emus Match Report

After last week’s success, the Emus were hungry for a win on the road against Bedfordshire.

The starting seven was:

GS – Kiara Wild

GA – Zoe George 

WA – Maddy Palmer 

C – Ellen Laker 

WD – Tash Palfrey 

GD – Katie Curtis-Smith 

GK – Chloe Tarling 

The Emus started uncharacteristically slowly, possibly due to navigating the Milton Keynes roundabouts. Bedfordshire were clearly up for the rematch. They capitalised on Oxford’s unforced errors, spurred on by a large, enthusiastic crowd. The first quarter ended 8-6 to Bedfordshire. The Emus had never been behind at the end of the first quarter before, so the team had to compose themselves in this unfamiliar situation. 

Aiming to improve passing accuracy, the Emus took to the court for the second quarter. Fola came on at GD and Katie moved to WD. Oxford reduced their unforced errors, denying the opposition the opportunity to turnover the ball. Zoe and Kiara worked the circle well, using fakes and pops to get the better of Bedfordshire’s athletic defence. Despite not playing together for a few weeks, Chloe and Fola’s communication was as clear as ever, leading to many interceptions. Oxford pulled the score back, and at half time we were leading by 2 goals. 

The third quarter saw Oxford extend their lead to 4 goals. Katie linked the attack and defence by bringing the ball down the court effectively. We were patient in attack, with Ellen and Maddie always offering an option on the circle edge. In defence, Chloe and Fola successfully fought for the rebounds. The quarter ended 27-23 to Oxford. 

In the final quarter, the Emus were determined to hold onto the lead. The team was energised by Tash returning to WD. The many interceptions made by the defence were converted to goals; we kept possession by minimising errors. After a tense final fifteen minutes, the Emus won 33-29, continuing our unbeaten record! Fola was awarded player of the match for her relentless defence.

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