BUCS kick off is notoriously known for its hyped up, all-day-winning-sports-events, and the University of Portsmouth Women’s 6th team made no mistake in keeping up that memo.
Facing LSE 2nd team, Portsmouth were keen to carry on from their previous season and start as they mean to go on with a win. This week, the Langstone weather was kind and calm, which reflected the spirits of both teams who were equally excited to begin the 2016-2017 season.
Portsmouth started the game fast and with confidence from the beginning and began taking the lead within the first 30 seconds after turning over LSE’s centre almost immediately.
Multiple turnovers meant LSE had a lack of opportunities to shoot in the first quarter and with only a few errors from Portsmouth towards the end of the first 15 minutes, LSE was able to get a minor 3 goals in.
Adrenaline pumping, Portsmouth were holding the lead comfortably at 14-3. Going into the second quarter with only a couple of changes in mid-court, steady and strong playing continued form the fresh Portsmouth players.
LSE were quick to pick up on some errors, but Portsmouth held on getting rebounds from LSE’s shooting and bringing it back down court with a controlled pace. LSE were unable to keep up with Portsmouth’s composed style of play.
The clinical play of defence partnered throughout the game until half time proved impossible for LSE to break with Portsmouth still maintaining a very comfortable lead with 22 – 8, no thanks to an 80% shot average from both of Portsmouth’s shooters.
Any missed shots were quickly taken by a rebound from the shooters again, ensuring that no turnover would be taken by the LSE team.
The third quarter brought, what some would call, a dramatic change to the line-up of 7 but of equal ability and skill. One shooter going to WD, with a fresh shooter coming on seamlessly without hesitation.
The adrenaline of Portsmouth got the better of them at some periods during the game, which were then consequently picked up by a still enthusiastic LSE side.
The weather in Langstone is always a factor when it comes to game day, so by the final quarter the winds had picked up leaving both teams having to re-think their style of play. Long balls across court were no longer an option with all players needing to work harder.
LSE continued to grasp onto as many shooting opportunities as possible and, finally finding their feet, didn’t allow for the Portsmouth defence to gain a chance to rebound.
Despite LSE’s constantly improving performance, Portsmouth showed no sign of remorse as they continued with direct passes to their always-clinical attackers.
Being more effective in transitioning the ball from defence into attack and creating more chances for their attacking players, Portsmouth’s shooters mirrored LSE’s shooters and had no qualms in finishing their shots.
As the final quarter finally came to an end after what was albeit, a long game, the matched proved to be an enjoyable one with a real sense of team spirit and support both on and off court from the Portsmouth side.
The score-line for Portsmouth did slow up at the end and was perhaps flattering on the girls, not telling the full story of LSE’s determination in the final quarter. Portsmouth took the win with the final score, 53-24.