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Great performance from netballers end Newcastle's unbeaten streak

York's netballers overcame league-leaders Newcastle University 33-25 this afternoon (Thumbnail credit Image: Peter Iveson)

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The women's netball team enjoyed a fantastic scalp against 4B league leaders Newcastle. York combined an equally strong defence and attack to break Newcastle's unbeaten run, with a fine shooting effort from Claire Dinan providing most of York's points.

Dinan got York's first points on the board in a very even first quarter that saw both sides create a lot of opportunities. Dinan was on hand to gobble up most of the rebounds and was effective in putting away what chances she had. York's score was matched by Newcastle, however, who showed good manoeuvrability around the court to make sure that York were always being tested at the back. The 7-7 scoreline at the end of the first quarter suggested this was going to be a close encounter.

The second quarter saw Dinan continue to pace around the court and slot away goals as Newcastle looked totally unable to contain her. Despite some lacklustre shooting in the first quarter Georgia Nebblett showed good resilience to put the memories of a number of misses behind her and add to the York total.

The current league leaders, however, were in no mood to lie down and face defeat and their goal shooter benefitted from some calculated movements that built up from the centre third. While not the most aggressive in moving forward Newcastle were practically void of any misplaced passes and were testing the likes of Grace Marsden who, coincidentally, looked more than up to the task as York took a three-point lead into half-time.

Images: Peter Iveson

Marsden, solid up until now, had a tough task in managing to keep up with the pacy Newcastle goal attack at the start of the third quarter. While she performed more than admirably, the Newcastle player was strong in the centre third and thus able to supply some good balls into the attacking third.

Not to be outdone, York looked to utilise the in-form Dinan and wing-attack Cesca Dessain. The two seemed to always be looking for each other and were usually the foundation on which York managed to built a 22-19 advantage heading into the final quarter.

Eager to protect their advantage York came out strong. Substitute centre Becky O'Dwyer was effective in shifting the ball from the York defensive third and also combined well with her captain Dessain who still managed to seek out Dinan. While the latter's goal-scoring ability was lost momentarily, it did return with abundance and was complimented by the fine efforts from substitute goal shooter Kay Masterson.

Newcastle did their best to mount a late challenge but York were always able to stay one step ahead: the home team nearly managing to score two goals to every one of Newcastle's in the final quarter. A quick succession of goals by the two girls in attack gave York the well deserved 33-25 victory as the final whistle was blown.

Captain Dessain was elated with the girls' performance. She stated that from the first quarter they aimed "to be the stronger team. We wanted to dominate". The girls' ability to be "great in support and full of encouragement" proving invaluable on the day.

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