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York 1sts 32-30 York St John
A hard fought win for York Netball 1sts rounded off an day of triple victory against rivals York St. John. With the matches being a precursor to the upcoming Varsity competition, both sides were eager to gain a psychological advantage.
York started the game the more confident of the two sides, with captain Amy Smith dictating the pace of play. However, the home team struggled at the defensive end of the court and St. John took an early lead.
It took some steady shooting from goal attacker Sarah Pycroft to inject some much needed momentum into York's attack. The GA made several testing shots to bring her team within two points going into half time.
York's defence was boosted by the success of their attackers and the contest began to flow with the teams trading points for the majority of the third quarter. Pycroft's eye for goal influenced attacking partner Sarah Fisher who looked unstoppable in a stunning four minute spell that took the home team three points clear of their rivals. However, the spell did not last as St John scored several times in rapid succession to bring the score to 25-24 going into the final quarter.
The tension was tangible after the break and the pressure told as St. John's instrumental GA and GS struggled to hit the target against some excellent York defensive work.
The scores were tied late in the quarter at 29-29, and the match hung in the balance when a decisive interception from wing defender Katie Brunskill on the halfway line found its way to Fisher in the goal circle. The in-form shooter scored, putting the home team into the lead as the University of York hung on in a tense finale to finish the match two points clear at 32-30.
York's second team sent out a resounding message ahead of the forthcoming Varsity competition with a clinical 32-12 victory over St. John. The teams had fought out a close contest in December, but this meeting was far more one-sided, with confident performances from the defensive line, fluidity and imagination in the centre and a near faultless showing from the attackers.
Goal shooter Fran Ireland and goal attack Sophia Sahin were on outstanding form, showing alertness to create scoring opportunities, ensuring York a narrow ascendancy after the first quarter.