It’s the latest column from our Captain reflecting on the close of 2018.
Welcome to the latest edition of Cox’s corner; in this edition I reflect on the last 3 regional matches of 2018.
I start this piece by reminiscing about a Wednesday lunchtime in mid November and I check my phone. A message from David to the team reads ‘THE NEW KIT IS HERE!’ and I am suddenly bouncing.
There is nothing better than new sports kit and fresh netball stash is always a highlight for any netball player.
At training that night we arrived early to try on our new dresses, warm up T-shirts, leggings and hoodies; there was a real excitement in the team and the feeling that this kit was going to give us a much wanted boost.
A big thank you to A Game and our new sponsors, Mining Searches UK, for their support in helping us look extra special on court.
That Sunday we travelled to Newton Abbott to play Lovell Titans in a potentially tricky match, with our opponents sitting just below us in the league table.
When the first whistle went we came out all guns blazing; it was the best first half to a game we’ve had so far this season. Our attack was flowing superbly and our ruthless defence of their centre passes meant we turned ball over mid court which we were then able to score from and add to our lead.
For us this was a great match, our new kit definitely helped and not only did we play well, we were having fun on court. I’m a firm believer that a team that enjoys their netball plays superior netball.
A victory of 41-63 was an excellent result with lots of positives to take forward to the next fixture.
The following week we faced our biggest challenge of the season yet. We had been expecting to play Saints Force in the Cornwall league before this fixture (but had to be rescheduled due to a leaking Carn Brea roof), so we were yet to see how exactly we compared to our biggest rivals.
I likened this match to an Exeter Chiefs vs Saracens top-of-the-table clash (rugby over football for me always) and I think it’s fair to say we were pretty nervous in our team talk before the match.
Sometimes nerves can be a positive thing but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Credit to Saints Cornwall, they executed very confident, well-drilled netball and as a collective we were not at our best. It came down to a couple of passing and handling errors from our attack in each 15 minutes for our opposition to comfortably win each quarter by 3 to 6 goals, leading to an 18 goal defeat (57-75).
We face this team 3 more times this season, both in the Cornwall league and the regional league return fixture, and we know that we will need to be at our best with our nerves controlled if we are to push them to a close game or even (dare I say it) a victory.
The following week we welcomed a new face to our regional squad in Caroline Wadman, known on court as Caz. She fitted in superbly at her first training session and we knew she was going to be nothing but an asset to the team.
Thankfully the matter of affiliating her with us was a quick one and she was on court a few days later playing her first game in orange. That week saw our last fixture of the first half of the regional season; we welcomed Jupiter at home.
We brought together everything we’d learnt so far this season and, as David said, put out our strongest performance yet. To win the first quarter 28-6 was proof of this.
Caroline joined Caitlyn in the shooting circle and they clicked instantly, both putting up some impressive shots and making some outrageous shooter-to-shooter passes. Phoebe, Fern, Bryher and Jemma, who was making her Regional League debut, were driving the ball through court fluidly and were consistently supporting the shooters on the edge of the circle, allowing them to rotate where necessary.
Kirsten, Keira and Niamh worked tirelessly in defence making some scorching interceptions and thoroughly inspired the attack to convert their hard work, enabling us to win the match 91-32.
What was extra special was the fact we were able to showcase our game to our sponsors Paul and Donna from Mining Searches UK – I think they were our lucky charms and we hope they enjoyed watching!
We’ve enjoyed our break for the festive period but we’re already back in training ready to hit the ground running in this month where we face a busy start to 2019.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters and sponsors for helping us make the first half of this season one to remember. We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and we’d like to wish you a Happy, healthy New Year.