It was a slow & steady start for our Academy girls in their 4th match of the season in the Surrey U16 League. After the first few centre passes were safely delivered to each teams shooters and converted into goals, all nerves had settled and the Dragonfly Academy girls started to pile on the pressure to their opposition. Some fantastic defense in the mid court (Tayler, Amy & Abigail) & defending circle (Katie & Melissa) gave the girls lots of opportunities to safely deliver the ball to their shooters (Olivia & Caitlin) who made sure a goal was scored either on the first attempt of trying or from the rebound. At the end of the first quarter the girls had stamped their intentions for this match and took an early lead of 10 -4.
The 2nd quarter saw a swap in our GS (Olivia off, Eleanor on) and all other positions remained the same. The girls kept up their high intensity of quick strong passes, never losing a centre pass and always scoring off of them. The defense & mid-court also kept the pressure on the opposition all through this quarter with Waverley trying anything to get past our quick arms and decision making. Quite a lot of contact in this quarter where everyone tried their best to turnover the ball and finally resulted in one of our players landing heavily on their bottom and having to come off court for some attention. Olivia stepped into the WA position at this stage and the Academy girls carried on their attack finishing that quarter 10 - 5 and extending their lead by 5 goals to 20 - 9 at half-time.
After a quick step outside for the half-time break for all the girls to cool down the 3rd quarter started with the same line up as the 1st quarter. The hard work and intensity started to show a little bit in this quarter and the opposition tried to capitalize on this. Lots more work had to be done in the centre third for both teams this quarter to safely deliver the ball to their respective shooters and we narrowly won the quarter 7 - 6 ending the 3rd quarter with a 12 goal lead, 27 - 15.
One final change for the 4th quarter in our shooting circle to go to the 2nd quarter combination and all the players knew they had to keep going for the last 10 minutes as legs & arms were all burning from all the hard work previously done in the first 30 minutes. More tactical play was used in our defense to force the errors from the tired opposition and a last burst of energy from our mid court players to turn over any loose balls and safely transition it to our shooters. A few errors of footwork from our players in this quarter but they still managed to keep the excellent pressure and shooting going for the final 10 minutes to win this quarter 9 - 5 giving a final score of 36 - 20.
A massive well done to all 8 players today who all did their job well and supported each other from each end of the court to result in this fantastic win against a tough opposition. The defense took some great rebounds and denied the shooters from space all through the match. The mid court players had quick reactions and amazing vision to feed our shooters and the shooters rewarded their team with some excellent shots which had the umpires commenting on how amazing they all were at the end of the game.
A big mention to the shooters as combined we were shooting at just over 70% this match with any missed shots being quickly recovered by our shooters to be converted into a goal before the opposition could react.
A truly fantastic display of teamwork & determination by all 8 players today.