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Georgie and Gracie inspire dominant Steel in another entertaining week of netball

The early pace-setters are beginning to make themselves known as the Newbury Netball League winter season hots up.

Academy Steel claimed the club bragging rights thanks to a thumping 66-41 Premier Division win over Academy Sky.

Centre Georgie Wood kept shooter Gracie Matthews supplied as Steel amassed 20 points in the first quarter, racing into a 10 point lead.

Action from this week’s round of netball fixtures. Pictures by Hollie Morley
Action from this week’s round of netball fixtures. Pictures by Hollie Morley

Sky made a number of changes in the second quarter, reducing the deficit to 34-19. Elizabeth Brown made an impression after moving to goal attack, while Isabelle Dodridge provided pace on the flanks.

After the break, Sky centre Eryn Robinson was forced off following a fall, and Steel took full advantage, extending their lead and cruising to a comfortable victory. Sky’s Aimee Andrews continued to cause problems with some sharp forward passing, but it was the shooting of Di Williams and defending of Keren Gillis and Becky Wheeler that proved decisive as Steel marched to a statement win.

Sharp-shooting in this match
Sharp-shooting in this match

Elsewhere, a ruthless display of shooting from goal attack Amy Tomlin inspired Brights to a narrow 49-42 win over Cricketts.

Staunch defending from Amy Talbot kept Cricketts in the game as a number of turnovers helped reduce a 14 point gap down to just six, but Brights held on in a tense final corner and celebrated a hard-earned win.

A dominant defensive performance from Fusion’s Nancy Apperley helped her side to a comprehensive 65-24 triumph over Vipers.

Hannah Jannaway-Swift battled hard at the back for Vipers but fluid and forward-thinking netball from Maggie Taylor, Lorraine Hancock and Chloe Reschwamm saw Fusion ease to a commanding win.

More action-packed netball
More action-packed netball

Elsewhere, Beth Sparks lit up the court as Robinson’s won a thrilling game against Newbury 4x4 Centre 47-43, while clinical shooting from Diane Williams – standing in as a guest player from her usual team Academy Steel – inspired Royals to a 44-35 win over Tadley Witches.

In Division 1, accurate attacking from Jess Schofield proved decisive as Altair Media overcame Jaguars 47-38, while shooter Kirsty Kenneally sparkled as Academy Sapphires thumped Academy Juniors 57-37.

Azego attacker Nic Read was on top form as her side eased past Honesty 47-32, while Jess Chitty and Sarah Sailsbury produced a near-perfect shooting performance as Eclipse trounced Hungerford Scarletts 51-25.

Five Bells came out on top in their top-of-the-table clash with Hungerford Extras, winning 41-31.

Lyndsay Pratt’s tireless performance allowed Five Bells to dictate large swathes of the game as her side maintained their stellar start to the new season.

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