Portsmouth Netball’s 1st team were powerless to stop Southampton’s 1st team in their late afternoon match, losing 60-29 to their rivals.
Despite having periods of excellent play on more than one occasion, Portsmouth were unable to match up to the danger of Southampton’s key players. With Southampton playing a very direct style of play for the majority of the game, Portsmouth struggled to deal with the height of Southampton’s GS in the first quarter, as she almost single handedly raced them into a 17-6 lead at the first break.
Pompey were not without their own threat, however, and can be said to have played the more attractive style of Netball throughout. Their focus of passing the ball through each player and working a shooting opportunity was a testament to the clear skill of the players. The scoreline after the first quarter was perhaps flattering on Southampton and did not tell the full story of how the game was going.
The clinical finishing of Southampton’s GS and GA proved to be a common theme in each quarter of the game, and was the difference between the two teams on the day. Pompey grew into the game as it progressed, and began to fashion more chances again using their quick movement of their ball.
Their conversion rate significantly improved too as the game moved into the second quarter, hauling the score up to 36-16 at the halfway stage, as Southampton continued their scoring streak. Yet the attitude of Portsmouth’s players was faultless, with no player letting their head drop even against the prowess of Southampton’s attacking players.
Pompey continued to grasp more of a foothold in the game as it moved into the third quarter, inspired by a combination of dealing more effectively with Southampton’s GS, and by Pompey themselves being more effective in transitioning the ball form defence into attack and creating more chances for their attacking players.
The score was 46-21 going into the final quarter, but again Portsmouth were staying resilient and showing little signs of fatigue. They were undoubtedly helped by the loud support from fellow members of the Netball society and fellow Pompey students, who cheered them on passionately through every part of the game.
The final quarter was arguably Portsmouth’s best of the game, as they scored some very well worked and impressive points against their opposition. The build up play was brilliant at times, with quick passes being made and the movement of Pompey’s players creating space all over the pitch.
But despite Portsmouth’s constantly improving performance, Southampton showed no sign of remorse as they continued with the direct passes to their always-clinical attackers. The scoreline was flattering on Southampton’s overall play and Pompey will have felt like they played much better than the result suggests.
The result, however, was less disputable, with Southampton deserving the win they got. Yet Portsmouth can hold their heads high based on their performance, they were resilient from the first minute and demonstrated their clear skill.
There was a real aura of team spirit around the court throughout the game, a real credit to everyone in the Netball society and to the fellow students who turned out to support the team.