NETBALL: Title-chasing Wila Lighting held off a battling Newbury 4x4 Centre II to score a 45-35 win in the Newbury Netball League’s Steiner Premier Division.
Newbury 4x4 were quickly out of the blocks to score four times without reply with Frances Tielm taking the chances before Wila settled to tie it up at 9-all at the end of the opening quarter and they upped the pace in the second quarter with shooters Lorraine Hancock and Maggie Taylor snapping up the chances and best player Nikki Coleman at centre providing the service as Wila took a 23-16 lead into the second half.
4x4’s best player Tammy Dowling led a rally from wing defence in the third quarter but the seven-goal gap remained intact and Wila went on to retain their unbeaten tag.
Robinson Foods eventually took charge to record a 50-40 win over Bowlers Arms.
Bowlers had scored their first win of the season in the first meeting of the sides, and they held an 11-10 advantage after Sunday’s opening quarter.
But Robinsons hit the ground running with four successive goals at the start of the second session and they were 27-18 up at the halfway mark and shooters Helen Thompson and best player Caroline Robinson contiued to plunder goals, despite Robinson’s best player Natalie Tucker doing enough to earn their side a point.
Division One leaders Gardner Leader were taken down by F and F as they started with only six players and eventually went down to a 32-28 defeat.
F and F led 9-5 after the first quarter but with loanee Laurie Harper from Thames Valley Ravens in their ranks, Gardner Leader responded in the second session to cut the gap to a single goal and the to tie up the game in the third quarter.
It made for a thrilling final quarter in which F and F’s defensive duo of Kelly Hearn-Smith and Dee Selley took the early initiative with some crucial rebounds with Carol Green capitalising as they out-scored their rivals to snatch the winners’ points.
Hungerford Extras beat Jets Orange 32-25 in a sometimes scrappy clash that saw them take an early advantage when Jets were hit by injury and maintain that throughout, despite Jets shooters Izzie Lainsbury and Di Kennedy lifting their side in the penultimate quarter.
The best players were Jets’ Lisa Maskery and Extras’ Stef Weir.
David Wilson Homes were comfortable 57-13 winners against Panthers after soaring into a 16-2 first quarter lead and never looking back.
The best players were the respective goal defences, DWH’s Kelly Jones and Panthers’ Michelle Stevenson.
Sharps Autos beat Q Associates 45-33 in their mid-table meeting after breaking clear late in the opening quarter and shooters Amy Neal and Julie Benwell continued to bolster their team’s advantage, even when the former went down injured before the halfway mark.
The best players were the goal attacks, Q Associates’ Katie Jones and Sharps’ Melissa Hughes.
The Thames Valley Falcons versus Ravens clash saw the latter come out on top 47-11 after Falcons goal shooter Margaret Duncan had taken first strike as Ravens set off with only six players.
But they were ahead at the end of the quarter and although Falcons’ best player Molly Herne marked tightly, they could not eat into the growing deficit.
Ravens’ best player was Caz Horsley.
Hungerford Juniors earned a bonus point when losing 4-20 to Fizz II.
They held their opponents in the opening quarter and took the lead in the second with accurate shooting from Maddie Robinson and support from best player Sarah Melton, but Fizz went on to dominate the third quarter with best player Kiah-Jay Stevens hitting the target.
But Juniors kept going, and a late salvo saw them snatch the losing bonus point.