In one of Varsity’s earlier matches James faced St Cuthbert’s in a netball game which ended with York’s first win of the day. James had lost to Derwent netball in the semi-finals of qualifiers, with some controversy as they had been made to play two games back-to-back, leaving them far more tired than other teams before the final. Still, as they practised their pre-match drills, there was a feeling that the team were well prepared for the game.
After the coin toss St Cuthbert’s were given the starting centre pass but quickly lost it as their wing attack pivoted on the wrong foot and the whistle was blown. The game continued, fragmented, as both teams repeatedly exchanged possession for movement with the ball. There was a feeling of nervousness in both college teams. St Cuthbert’s put on pressure at the beginning of the first quarter, scoring the first goal and taking an early lead. James, however, were not to be underestimated. By the end of the first quarter they had pulled ahead, the score 6-7, with the away teams Goal Attack and Goal Shoot, using quick short passes to break through the opposing defence.
James started the next quarter but were quickly dispossessed. A goal followed from St Cuthbert’s leaving the score 7-7. The teams seemed on equal ground for a long time, with James eventually pulling ahead thanks to several calm interceptions from their keeper. At 9-10 the Durham defence seemed to be visually tiring, and the score began to reflect this with the quarter ending 10-19.
During the next quarter James’ dominance continued. St Cuthbert’s frustration was palpable with a couple of shots that spilled off the goal, and another that fell just wide. Each mistake they made James would use to turn the direction of the play. The quarter ended 15-23 with the game looking like a sure victory for the York side.
The last quarter showed less clean play from the Durham team. At one point the Cuthbert’s keeper slammed into a James attacker and at another their Centre and the York GA scrapped over the ball, both refusing to give up possession. The match ended 20-29. A well deserved win for the James side who had displayed a skilled and united performance throughout the match.