A fresh start to the beginning of the second half of the season brought out the best in the University of Portsmouth Netball teams last week when we saw a double derby away at Chichester.
Both the 1st and 5th teams were joined by a huge wave of extra supporters whose cheery spirits from the sideline really gave the teams the encouragement and motivation that they needed to win. This in turn appeared to unsettle the Chichester home teams.
After what could have only been described as an adrenaline filled first game from the UPNC 5th team, the UPNC 1st team were going to have to follow suit and maintain the same performance level.
The team’s desire for victory was also powered by their hunger for the need to win – there was no holding back in what was going to be a real clash of some highly-skilled netball playing.
It was a case of getting on court and going out for the win from the first centre. UPNC had the first centre pass. Chichester were also quick off the mark with the first ten minutes of the first quarter almost goal for goal.
Accurate shooting was no problem for Bethany Haskell at GS and Hannah Hersant at GA. The remarkable attacking play around the circle’s edge soon shook the defence of Chichester where every opportunity for a shooting rebound was capitalised.
The second quarter brought a lead by four goals for Portsmouth. A swap in defence between Megan Davis originally at GK and Laura Carlisle in at GD assumed for an even stronger defence against an equally accurate and strong Chichester attack.
However, Portsmouth took advantage of all errors from the Chichester side along with some extraordinary and fierce interceptions from Carlisle at goal keep turning over to Davis at goal defence and Sally Greenwood at WD.
Communication was vital throughout and the clean play down court from Greenwood through to Alex Cann at C and Chloe Truffitt at WA. Truffitt was pulling all the strings at wing attack and producing strong, clean feeds into Haskell and Hersant who polished off their shooting remarkably.
The game continued strong going into the third quarter. A fantastic battle continued to rage between the Chichester defence and Portsmouth attack with the hosts counteracting well against Portsmouth.
A fresh change of Kirsty Lawrence on to the court at WD in place of Greenwood bringing in the versatility where needed, it was clear that Chichester were struggling to take the ball through court to goal with the visitors dominating centre-court play.
Chichester’s failure to keep up momentum with Cann and Truffit’s relentless speed meant that Portsmouth’s goal lead was soon gaining away from Chichester’s.
With a 22 goal lead going into the final 15 minutes of match play, Chichester never failed to apply pressure where necessary and consequently enabled themselves a minor catch up mid quarter.
However, this was no match for the passion and effort from Portsmouth where their well fought for and deserved lead was one they kept hold of with everything they had. Portsmouth took final control and following tiredness in Chichester coming in half way through the game, the home side were always playing catch-up, but performed valiantly in the first half.
Spurred on again by some solid defensive play, the attack capitalising on all errors by the hosts as well as their own definitive attacking play, Portsmouth produced an hour of match play which gave for some dramatic and incredible viewing and a well-deserved final score of 67-39.