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Lancaster edge out netball firsts in thriller

In the last Roses game to be held within the White Rose sport tent, Lancaster held onto a slender lead to beat York 39 goals to 38. (Thumbnail credit Image: Peter Iveson)

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UNIVERSITY OF YORK 38-39 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER

In the last Roses game to be held within the White Rose sport tent, Lancaster held onto a slender lead to beat York 39 goals to 38. A high-scoring, tense game throughout, the challenge for both teams was to obtain a lead that could withstand the constant pressure that came from all angles of the court. York displayed constant strength and matched a tactical Lancastrian team who were intent on gaining a win for four points.

In the face of a 200 strong crowd, shooters Dinan and Masterson displayed early confidence to beat tight marking from the Lancaster GD and GK to score the initial goals, however the midcourt players struggled to pinpoint accurate passing and Lancaster were effective on capitalizing on York's mistakes. Interceptions were taken by the WD and GD despite excellent support from York Centre Rebecca O'Dwyer. Still, many balls were delivered to Masterson to ensure a lead was taken at the end of the first quarter of 11-7.

The pressure seemed to constantly mount as some physical play ensured, with the Lancastrian attack holding the space well within the D, meaning challenges for Grace Marsden at Goal Defence and Jenni Williams at Goal Keeper mounted. However, the combination of their experience as a defensive couple and some excellent long, quick balls from Wing Defence Sarah Smith fired into the York attack meant that the ball remained predominately within the York attack corner. Dinan displayed speed, flummoxing the Lancastrian Defence and slotted goals with confidence to edge a lead for York, taking the score to 16-11.

At half time, both teams made substitutions to combat the swift pace of the game, with Charlotte Ferris coming on at Wing Defence and Georgia Neblett at Goal Shooter. With audible support from the Club and Coach Mel Duncan, York continued to fight against effective shooting and Lancaster taking able chances down the right wing. Obstructions began to occur periodically, showing Lancaster's intent to draw level. The score drew swiftly to 22-22, and it became clear that every movement York took would be crucial to obtain a win. Captain Cesca Dessain took some spectacular high balls to continue the fight to get the ball within York's attacking D.

The final few minutes caused an electric atmosphere within both camps, as each team looked poised to take a win. Each interception was matched with another and no mistakes were made as each team fought to get the ball into the hands of their respective shooters. Marsden in particular was superb, moving forward with accuracy to cause the Lancaster GA disruption.

However, it was Lancaster's moment, as they managed to cling on to their last goal to take the title. Thus causing an uproar in the Lancaster tent, York were consoled by the fact that they had given a great fight to a team normally playing in the league above themselves. The support displayed was also considerable and Captain Cesca Dessain voiced clear pride for her team, saying: ''Every player played the best they have played all season. Our performance illustrated our hard work throughout the season. Obviously, it was unfortunate we lost but we played our hearts out and couldn't have asked for more.''

GK- Jenni Williams
GD- Grace Marsden
WD- Sarah Smith (Charlotte Ferris)
C- Rebecca O'Dwyer
WA- Cesca Dessain (C)
GA- Claire Dinan
GS- Kay Masterson (Georgia Neblett)


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