In a dress rehearsal for the Roses opening ceremony, the Women’s 1s Netball Team cruised to a 65-30 victory over York St John’s 1s in a friendly match.
The visitors are in the Northern 2B League, a division above York. However, they haven’t won a BUCS League fixture since February 2017, and even though they lost all ten of their fixtures last season, weren’t relegated to the Northern 3B League where York play.
As alluded to in the last edition of Nouse, the Women’s 1s have been in fantastic form since they were announced as the openers for Roses, averaging almost 14 goals more per game than they were prior to the announcement.
Although it was only a friendly game against their city rivals, York played with the enthusiasm, tempo and flair that they will no doubt provide on the 3rd May.
The two sides were quite evenly matched in the opening few minutes, the ball going back and forth between the two nets. As the score reached 9-9, there was a delay in play due to what looked like a very nasty injury to one of the York players. Bizarrely, it was after this that York began to pull ahead, ending the first quarter with a 15-9 lead.
The away side came back into the game as the second quarter progressed, pulling the score back to 16-14. However, this would be the last time the two were remotely close to one another, as York won ten of the next 13 points to extend their lead to 26-17.
The game was being played with the entire Sports Arena open, rather than in three segments as it usually is laid out. It showed just how big the arena is, although it will surely feel much smaller, when hundreds descend to watch Roses 2019 get underway.
As the third period got underway, St John scored three points in quick succession, to make the score 32-21. Like earlier on in the game, York won a staggering 14 of the next 17 points to end the quarter leading 46-25.
By this point, the home side were well aware that victory was wrapped up but didn’t stop pushing for even more goals in the remaining quarter. This final fifteen minutes was the most high-scoring of the game. St John had conceded four within the first two minutes of the period, but it would only get worse. The link-up play between York’s goal shooter and attack was brilliant, and the away defence just couldn’t keep up with the intensity. York amassed an incredible 21 more points in this period, ending the game with a comfortable victory of 65-30.
Admittedly, this wasn’t a BUCS game, but to score so many goals sets a fantastic precedent going forward. The last time the Women’s 1s team scored more than 65 was back in November 2014, when they destroyed Newcastle 2s 70-22. They have just two more games left in their official BUCS season, both against the University of Leeds. Tomorrow (Wednesday 6th March), they make the short trip to Headingley to face Leeds 3s, before they welcome Leeds 4s to the Sports Arena next Wednesday.
These two sides are 1st and 3rd respectively in the Northern 3B League, whilst York are bottom of the division, with relegation a real possibility. However, if they perform the way they did against St John, and continue the impressive scoring they’ve shown since November, the great escape could well be on.
Even though there was only the one stand alongside the Court, the atmosphere was still terrific, with almost 100 people in attendance. Come Roses though, when there are stands surrounding the entire court, the atmosphere will be twenty notches higher, as York’s students cheer the Netball team on to what is hopefully an Opening Ceremony win.