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Battling Brights give leaders a real fright

But Associates hold on to maintain 100-per-cent start

Liam Headd

Liam Headd

liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886629

Battling Brights give leaders a real fright

Q ASSOCIATES go into the winter break with their 100-per-cent record in the Newbury Netball League Steiner Premier Division intact.

But they were made to fight all the way before seeing off Brights 47-41.

Faultless shooting from Sharon Bassindale and Alex Roberts saw Brights end the first quarter all square at 12-12, but Q’s shooters Hannah Jones and Gem White saw their side edge ahead 21-20 at half-time.

Q stepped up the pace in the third quarter, best player Katie Jones starring to put them 36-30 in front, and they maintained that six-goal advantage until the final whistle.

Robinson’s Foods 39-39 Jets Orange

Robinson scored in the final few seconds to earn a thrilling draw in this mid-table clash.

Robinsons started the stronger with excellent shooting from Helen Thompson and Rachel Cross putting them 15-7 ahead.

Jets best player Izzie Lansbury worked well in the circle to spark her side’s fightback and the score was level going into the final quarter.

Robinson’s fell three goals behind, but with seconds remaining, best player Jasmine Robinson gained a well-timed interception which was taken to post and scored to make it 39-39.

Newbury 4x4 Centre (2) 29-61 Wila Lighting 

Defending champions Wila proved too strong for struggling Newbury as they stepped up their bid to retain the title.

Newbury, though, gave as good as they got in the early exchanges with great shooting from Claire Digweed and best player Kelly Blake.

Wila got on top towards the end of the period to go 13-8 up, and great shooting from Maggie Taylor and Lorraine Hancock saw them pull away to lead 32-14 at half-time.

Injuries left Newbury with just six players in the third quarter, with Chloe Cooke moving to goal attack.

But Wila’s defensive duo of Rachel Caswell and best player Sophie Lightowers kept Newbury at bay as they stretched their lead to 45-20.

And although Newbury borrowed a player to get back to full strength, Wila powered to an impressive win.

Division 1

Hungerford Extras outgunned title rivals Newbury Volts 51-23 in the big clash at the top of Division 1.

Both teams went into the game unbeaten, but it was Extras who powered away in the second half to take the spoils.

Volts started with only six players, but good pressure from their defensive duo Angelique Richards (GK) and Kelly Plester (GD) restricted Hungerford to a 10-9 first-quarter lead.

Extras found their rhythm in the second quarter with guest players Courtney Hillier and Molly Terry helping them go 19-12 up at half time.

Volts’ best player Danielle Jones (C) worked hard, but Extras stretched their lead to 35-20 after three quarters and they kept their foot on the pedal, with excellent shooting from Anna Green (GA) and best player Maddie Robinson (GS).

Benchmarx 22-41 David Wilson Homes 

Benchmarx saw their title hopes suffer a major setback as they suffered their third defeat of the season.

DWH took an 11-8 first-quarter lead and in the second quarter determined defence from Kelly Jones (GD) and best player Louisa May (GK) saw them go 23-14 ahead, despite a fine display from Benchmarx’s best player Alex Nippress (C).

The second half of the game saw DWH guest players Lauren Manderson (WA) and Carol Green (WD) dominate and shooters Kristina Quinn and Rachel Nobel fired them into a 32-18 lead.

And they kept the pressure up in the final quarter to keep their own promotion hopes alive.

Eclipse 41-17 Newbury Juniors 

Eclipse stayed in the hunt for honours after scoring a comfortable win over the young Newbury side.

They won each quarter, with best player Chloe Major outstanding at goal defence.

Juniors battled hard, despite having players line up in unfamiliar positions.

And although best player Rhea Bahia was outstanding at the back, Eclipse packed too much punch for their rivals.

Rebound Electronics 26-55 Caravatti

Caravtti eased their relegation worries with an emphatic victory.

There was nothing between the sides for the first 10 minutes before Caravatti opened up a 15-10 first-quarter lead.

Kathryn Parr made several great interceptions in the second quarter and excellent shooting from Ann Sukwong-Fletcher saw them establish an 11-goal lead at the halfway mark.

Rebound’s Emma Gale starred as her side battled back to make it 31-21.

Caravatti’s Amy Edwards (WA) and Rebound’s Tracey Smith (WD) enjoyed a good battle in mid-court, but it was Caravatti who finished the strongest as they romped away in the closing stages to seal a 29-goal victory.

Division 2

Briars came from 10 shots down to send Division 2 leaders Tadley Witches crashing to their first defeat of the season in a thrilling clash.

Tadley edged a tight first quarter 8-7, and they moved up a gear in the second period, Kirsten Thirwell keeping Briars’ best player Steph Noble quiet as they opened up a 21-11 half-time lead.

Briars came out fighting in the third, turning ball over regularly as they battled back to draw level at 25-25.

Briars edged ahead and just held on to clinch a nail-biting 34-33 win.

Q Associates (2) 26-34 Altair Media 

Altair moved further clear of the foot of the table after clinching a hard-fought victory.

It was 5-5 after the first quarter, then Altair’s best player Emma Gillespie took control and some fantastic feeding into the goal circle allowed Kiah-Jay Stevens and Lottie Ball to put their side 16-8 up.

Q reshuffled their pack and best player Rachael Nellar (GD) won some amazing interceptions.

Jennifer Austin (WA) made some good feeds into their shooters as Q narrowed the gap to 25-19.

Altair, though, regained their rhythm and took control again, steadily pulling away to complete a comfortable win.

Jets White 39-33 Mat Lighting

Games between these sides have always been tight affairs – and this was no exception.

Jets GK Lucie Lane and GD Lauren Manderson kept Mat’s Louise Thatcher and Kiah-Jay Stevens at bay to open up a 14-11 lead.

The second quarter was an even tighter affair as both teams scored six goals apiece.

Mat edged the third quarter by one goal, scoring nine to Jets’ eight.

With only two goals separating the teams going into the final quarter, the game could have gone go either way, but Jets gained the upper hand as they pulled away to win by six goals,.

Best players were Lucie Lane (GD) for Jets and Clair Lloyd-Butler (WD) for Mat.

Angry Birds 45-28 Hungerford Juniors

Angry Birds stepped up their promotion bid with a tremendous win over high-flying Hungerford.

There was some great centre court play between Birds’ centre Sam Martin and Hungerford’s Jamie-Louise Belcher, but it was Birds who led 8-6 after the first period.

Birds shooters Katie Burraston and Sam Fish turned up the heat in the second quarter, firing their side 19-10 in front.

And excellent play in the third quarter saw Birds’ wing attack Emma Bennett help the flow of the ball down the court as her side extended their advantage to 30-21.

Hungerford’s shooters Alice Brand and Ellie Humphries scored some fine goals in the final period, but it wasn’t enough as Birds held on for an impressive win.

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