Footloose 56 Eurobugs 33
Footloose arrived feeling fit and ready for a good game in chilly conditions.
They started with the defence holding strong to fend off the shooting prowess of Eurobugs’ goal shooter. Jo Dudman captained the defence as goal keeper, directing Yvie Belcher and Patrizia Quieti to close down Eurobug’s attackers. After the first quarter, Footloose trailed 9-8.
Footloose struggled with slippery conditions, with Emma Newbery taking a tumble and a few foot-working faults going against them. But they started to demonstrate their strength in attack, and Anna Drabble worked great balls into Louise Grainger and Newbery.
Sarah Constable subbed in to help Dudman and Belcher minimise Eurobug’s attacking threat, and at half-time Footloose led 18-17.
As their confidence increased, the shots were flying in from Grainger and Newbery. Great play between Liza Gamblin at entre and Vicky Fuller-Woodhead fed good balls into the shooting circle, and Grainger and Newbery worked well together to turn these into some great goals.
The defence started to take advantage of nervous passes, and Patrizia Quieti made some great interceptions. Drabble slowed the pace of the quick-footed Eurobugs’ wing defence and at the end of the third quarter, Footloose were 39-26 in front.
To start the fourth and final quarter, Footloose improved on communication. Gamblin worked hard to get free from her opposing centre, and moved the ball well among the attacking players, while Fuller-Woodhead commanded her position well and held her space to create swift movement on the attacking wing.
The defensive half held strong despite sharp shooting from Eurobugs, and persistent marking from Dudman wore down the opposing attacking momentum.
Player of the match was Fuller-Woodhead
FOOTLOOSE: Emma Newbery, Louise Grainger, Patrizia Quieti, Anna Drabble, Yvie Belcher, Vicky Fuller Woodhead, Liza Gamblin, Jo Dudman, Sarah Constable.
Footloose 24 Wasps 28
A break from action showed some cracks in the team performance and Emma Newbery and Louise Grainger experienced unusual difficultly converting shots into points.
Defensively, Footloose started well but Charlotte Eastley took a tumble and aggravated an ankle injury. Yvie Belcher took her place in goal defence and partnered Jo Dudman in goal keeper. Intercepting well, Belcher and Dudman kept the defensive side strong, while Sarah Constable at wing defence helped move the ball forward.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Paula Newham came on at wing atack to lend space and width.
Partnering well with centre Liza Gamblin, they fed balls into Grainger and Newbery, but this was combated by forceful defending from Wasps’ goal keeper. Footloose struggled to keep play calm and swift passing meant mistakes were made on both sides.
Starting the third quarter, Sarah Gainsborough came on as centre to take some pressure from Gamblin, who was up against some considerable pace from her opposing player. Gainsborough forced interceptions and held her space.
Wing attack Drabble created good space for the follow-on pass, and Footloose gained confidence as a flurry of goals meant it was 18-18 going into the last quarter.
Grainger fell foul of aggressive play from the opposition, taking a nasty tumble.
Footloose desperately tried to keep control and Grainger made some good shots and clever rebounds to keep them in it.
But the Wasps pushed on and despite valiant defensive work from Dudman, Belcher and Constable, Footloose were unable to stop the shooting prowess of the Wasps’ attack.
Player of the match was Belcher.
FOOTLOOSE: Emma Newbery, Louise Grainger, Paula Newham, Anna Drabble, Yvie Belcher, Sarah Gainsborough, Liza Gamblin, Jo Dudman, Sarah Constable, Charlotte Eastley.