SAPPHIRES MATCH REPORTS
Sapphires played away to Stanchester’s second team Dolphins. Sapphires were in good spirit and started strongly to take a 12-9 lead with some accurate shooting by Hannah Read and Abi Ridler. By the end of the 2nd quarter Dolphins had fought back and taken the lead by one. During the 3rd quarter, Sapphires again showed great strength in their play, with some lovely tips from Carly Martin, and pressure within the defensive circle from Rachel Lawrence and Paige Pople, and Sapphires pulled away to a 31-28 lead. Dolphins did not give up though, and during the last quarter came out very determined putting great pressure on the Sapphires players. Even though there was great spacing from Laura Coombes and Mikki Hole, Dolphins won the game 42-36. A very disappointing result for Sapphires. Player of the match went to Abi Ridler and Mikki Hole
Sapphires had a tough game against Dukes on Saturday. They started the first quarter behind, but good movement and attacking play from Hannah Read and Abi Ridler meant that Sapphires were able to clinch the lead, finishing the quarter at 11-9. Effective defensive play from Beth Fella and Karen Lewis caused Duke to make errors, and helped Sapphires maintain the lead at half time, with a score of 21-18. The game continued to be close, with good play from both teams. Centre court players Laura Coombes, Mikki Hole, Sammie Brown and Carly Martin tried to keep passes sharp and accurate to maintain their lead. A great effort from all players meant that Sapphires finished on top, winning the game 42-39. Player of the match was Beth Fella.
With particularly horrible weather this weekend, Sydenham Sapphires faced Tone from Taunton NC. Sapphires started the first quarter as they meant to go on, with great circle movement from Abi Ridler and Hannah Read, taking an early lead. In the second quarter Tone worked hard to close the gap, but Sapphires’ defence had really improved their tactics leading to more balls being turned over. An injury in the third quarter lead to Nic Hale being brought at GK, with Rachel Lawrence moving to GD, both players made many interceptions for the team. The last quarter saw Sapphires continue their strong play, with all players increasing their commitment which led to a 33 – 25 win. Player of the match - Carly Martin
Sapphires played Bridgwater NC’s Neptune on Saturday. Sapphires started strongly
and took a early 12-9 lead, but Neptune came out fighting for the next two quarters.
There were some great tips and interceptions from Laura Coombes at WA, helping Sapphires
to maintain momemtum and stay ahead. Neptune managed to pull back to within 4 goals
of Sapphires score despite great defending from Beth Fella and Rachel Lawrence. Sapphires
started the last quarter in positive manner and with some good movement and passing
from all players, and accurate shooting from Abi Ridler and Hannah Read Sapphires
worked strongly to extend their lead to a 38-28 win. Beth Fella taking well deserved
player of the match
Sapphires started slowly against Bishops from Wells, finishing the first quarter just 9-4 ahead. However, after a team talk at quarter time, Sapphire’s play soon picked up. Great passing and movement down centre court between Carly Martin, Katie Ball and Laura Coombes, saw some well timed and placed passes into the shooters. This combined with brilliant interceptions from Rachel Lawrence and Beth Fella in defence helped Sapphires to continue to apply the pressure on Bishops, enabling Sapphires to extend their lead further. Accurate shooting and great team work from Abi Ridler and Hannah Read in the circle, helped Sapphires increase their lead to finish the game 50-19. Player of the match deservedly went to Carly Martin for her well timed interceptions and great team play.
Sapphires met Premier Division Babylon in the second round of the cup today. Sapphires picked up the pace easily in the first quarter finishing fairly evenly at 12-8. Sapphires continued to perform at a faster speed throughout the second quarter with strong short passes down the court, and gave Babylon a run for their money. However Babylon's defence were on very tight and Sapphires were just unable to make their shots count. By third quarter Babylon took a lead with 36-21, however still maintaining strong defence and well time interceptions from Carly Martin, Beth Fella and Rachel Lawrence, Sapphires made it difficult for Babylon to get the ball into the circle on the first pass. The game finished with a win to Babylon 52 - 25, but it was a good game against stronger opposition, and all players worked well to force errors throughout the game. Player of the match was Carly Martin and umpire's player was Beth Fella.
Sapphires played at home against Parkfield from Galmington. Sapphires started strongly taking an early lead with great shots from Abi Ridler and Hannah Read, working well together in the Sapphires circle. Meanwhile defensively, Beth Fella and Rachel Lawrence made it difficult for Parkfield to play their own game. Sapphires continued to pull away during the 2nd and 3rd quarter, with centre court players Laura Coombes and Katie Ball placing well timed strong passes into the circle. During the last quarter Parkfield came out fighting but strong defensive play from Sammie Brown helped Sapphires take another win 51-31. Over all a good team effort With Beth Fella being voted player of the match.
Sapphires were determined to go out fighting for the first round of the KO Cup against Dolphins. Determination in the defending circle from Rachel Lawrence and Beth Fella helped Sapphires win the first quarter quite substantially. Great team play by the whole of Sapphires, especially strong movement and accuracy in shooting from Hannah Read and Abi Ridler secured Sapphires lead at half time. A good team effort from all players boosted Sapphires confidence and the speed of the ball being carried down the court by Laura Coombes, Katie Ball and Carly Martin was sharp and effective. Dolphins came fighting back in the last quarter and challenged Sapphires defensively, but it wasn’t enough and Sapphires went on to win the game 38-28. It was decided that player of the match should be distributed between the team.
Sapphires took to the court this week hoping to end Millfield’s three season winning streak. The game was closely contested throughout, and although Sapphires started well the first quarter ended 9-7 to Millfield. In the second quarter Sapphires upped their game with great play down the central court from Katie Ball and Laura Coombes, finished off with accurate shooting from Abi Ridler and Hannah Read to reduce the deficit to just one goal at half time. Millfield made some team changes at half time but Sapphires held their own with excellent defending in Millfield’s end from Rachel Lawrence, Beth Fella and Carly Martin, resulting in a level quarter for both teams. Sapphires started the final quarter just one goal down and determined to fight to the end. However, Millfield were equally determined, though pushed all the way. With a height advantage in their shooting circle, Millfield capitalised on a Sapphires misktake and won the game by only 3 goals with the final score being 37-34.
It was a very intense midweek inter club game in which Rubies took an early lead in the first quarter whilst Sapphires struggled to find their rhythm, and settle into a different line up. The second quarter saw some excellent shooting from Hannah Read for Sapphires which reduced the deficit, and at the end of the quarter, Sapphires had moved into the lead. Rubies pushed hard during the third quarter, but as Sapphires had moved players around to counter their pressured attack, and with Laura Coombes at GA helping to collect rebounds, excellent pressure and movement from Carly Martin at WD, Sapphires stayed ahead with a small lead going into the final quarter. Rubies however, stepped up a gear and determined defence forced Sapphires to make errors, and Rubies capitalised on their interceptions. In a close and exciting finish, Rubies retook the lead half way through the quarter, and as the whistle blew won the game 37 – 33. Player of the match was awarded to Carly Martin.
Sapphires were away to Claremont from Galmington NC this weekend, and despite missing 3 regular players, the team felt a strong team spirit. Claremont started strongly and won the first quarter 12 – 7. During the second quarter, Sapphires applied good pressure and well timed interceptions from Beth Fella and Rachel Lawrence prevented Claremont from extending their lead further. Good spacing and communication between Katie Ball and Laura Coombes helped to work the ball down the court, but Claremont defenders made it difficult to move the ball into the circle. Despite good effort from the team, Claremont won the game 33 – 20. Beth Fella was voted player of the match
Terrible weather conditions saw Sapphires off to a slow start against Parkfield,
but they soon picked up by the end of the first quarter. Battling against the elements,
steady passing and great defending kept Sapphires in the game. Accurate shooting
closed the gap slightly,but unfortunately Parkfield took advantage of their early
lead and maintained it until the final whistle winning 39 - 28.
Sapphires played home to Dukes from Glastonbury today, and unfortunately, Sapphires started slowly allowing Dukes to take a 6 goal lead. Sapphires came out with all good intentions and full of purpose, and managed to create more space down the court, however, Dukes managed to again pull away to 24-17 at half time. With good shooting from Lynne Cornish , supported first of all by Abi Ridler, then Laura Coombes, Sapphires continued to try to pressure and defend every pass, but with 3 injuries during the game, and reserves taking to the court, the flow of the game was disrupted. Dukes won the game 44-32. The player of the match went to Rachel Lawrence.
Sapphires played Dolphins from Stanchester NC at home on Saturday, and after a slow start during the first quarter, Sapphires settled down, and some well timed interceptions from Mikki Hole and Carly Martin, took Sapphires into a slight lead 11 – 9. With accurate shooting from Hannah Read and Abi Ridler, Sapphires extended the lead to 20 – 17 at half time. Dolphins came back fighting during the third quarter, and despite good defensive play from Beth Fella and Rachel Lawrence, Dolphins managed to level the score at 24 all to set up a great final quarter. Sapphires created some great movement during this quarter, finding space and centre court players Kelly Thorne and Katie Ball working hard to pass well paced balls into the circle. With continued accuracy at the shooting circle, and pressured defending Sapphires pulled away to win 36 – 31. Player of the match was Rachel Lawrence.
Sapphires started calmly against ex-premier division team Harlequins from Norton. With strong play from both sides, the first quarter ended 10 – 9 to Sapphires. Sapphires picked up their game with determined passes from Kelly Radford and Katie Ball into the circle, allowing Nic Hale and Abi Ridler to make successful shots at goal. By half time, Sapphires had stretched the lead to 25 – 13. Good pressure from defensive players Emma-Jayne Brown, Rachel Lawrence and Beth Fella forced Harlequins to make errors, and the lead extended to 39 – 19 going into the final quarter. Sapphires continued with determined and focused play throughout the final quarter to win the match 51 – 27. Kelly Radford deserved the player of the match vote.
Sapphires started slowly against Claremont from Galmington NC, finishing the first quarter 10 – 3 down. The team knuckled down and with improved play during the second quarter, steadily played themselves back into the game, with the ball finding its way into the shooting circle more easily. The half time score was 19 – 9 to Claremont. A continued improvement during the third quarter, with both ends of the court working well, ensured that the quarter remained drawn, with the score moving on to 28 – 18 moving into the final quarter. Claremont increased their pace during the final quarter, and despite great defending from Rachel Coles and Debbie Chapman, Sapphires were unable to close the gap. The final score was 43 – 25 to Claremont and Kelly Radford was named player of the match.
Sapphires took to the court for their first game of the season against Tone from Taunton. They started well with Beth Fella and Carly Martin turning over the ball on Tone’s centre passes to give Sapphires a 12-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. With a slight change to their team Tone came out fighting in the second quarter, forcing errors from Sapphires whose lead slipped to 17-12 at half time. The team composed themselves in the third quarter and excellent movement down the court from Katie Ball and Kelly Radford saw Sapphires extend the lead going into the final quarter, which saw Sapphires continue to pull away with accurate shooting from Abi Ridler and Hannah Read. Strong defence in the circle from Nic Hale and player of the match Beth Fella meant Tone struggled to score and Sapphires won the game 34 goals to Tone’s 21.