Derwent College held off a spirited fightback from St Aidan’s College to take maximum points in the Women’s A Netball clash. In the standout lunchtime fixture, a huge, passionate crowd descended on Durham’s main arena, the away support heavily outnumbering the quiet Durham fans.
At the end of the first quarter, the game was all square at 7-7, with very little separating the two sides. However, York’s Derwent College built up a small lead in the next period and would have been disappointed not to end the quarter with only a three-goal lead. It was in this quarter that the game began to get very physical, with some fouls worthy of a rugby fixture being committed, especially by the home side.
St Aidan’s College came back into the game much more in the third quarter, determined not to be defeated by Derwent, who had even more supporters in the arena, as another bus arrived from Heslington. The third quarter ended with Derwent leading for York by just one point, but the scores were level immediately into the fourth quarter, as St Aidan’s made it 20-20. The home side momentarily went ahead in the game, getting as far ahead as 22-20. This only made the Derwent support louder, and they were soon level, inspired by some innovative Netball-themed chanting from the D Bar loyal.
With just over a minute left on the clock, York made it 23-22, to restore the lead they’d had for almost the entirety of the game. St Aidan’s battled until the very end to try and send the game into extra time, but the resilient Derwent defence, especially the Goal Defence, made sure that it was York who secured the five points on offer. This was Derwent’s first Varsity fixture of the day, and got them off to a fantastic start, taking down a Durham College side that featured some excellent University level players.