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University Sport

Varsity Netball: Team Portsmouth Netball Pack a Punch in Close Encounter

The University of Portsmouth Netball Club, with its five BUCS teams and 2 intramural teams entered, had been raring to go since the beginning of the season. Despite the typical and traditional Portsmouth Varsity weather, it was no deterrent for the players, home or away. The home crowd support was everything that the teams needed to chase those all-important wins.

(Credit: UoP Students’ Union)

Portsmouth Netball 5th team were first on court along with the Portsmouth Intramural Netball 1st team. Both teams began strong, and the 5th team leading after the first quarter by 8 goals – a deficit which was critical to the remainder of the game. Despite some controversy arising from the Southampton side against umpire decisions, Portsmouth 5th team remained clean and steady in their style of play.

However, as the game gathered momentum so did Southampton and by the final quarter there were only 2 goals between the two sides. The effort from the Portsmouth 5th team defence was not quite enough to capitalise on Southampton’s errors where they were able to get away with the score line. What was a close game during the first 3 quarters of the Varsity fixture with almost every goal for goal, Southampton trumped Portsmouth and won by only 7 goals – 38-31.

The Intramural 1st team also were motivated by both goal lead and home crowd support. Mirroring the game play of the Portsmouth Netball 5th team, the Intramural side were playing the ball well around court and forcing errors from Southampton which the Portsmouth side were able to capitalise on. The Portsmouth Intramural 1st team pushed hard for the final quarter and their efforts were rewarded with a 31-16 win over the visiting side.

As the day progressed, the enthusiasm did not tire from the home crowd or the players. Next up was the Portsmouth Netball 3rd team and the Intramural 2nd team. Never more than 14 goals between the final scores, the University of Portsmouth Netball Club were keen to show Southampton how to play a real game of netball.

The Portsmouth Netball 3rd team despite a flat start soon found the momentum needed. By the 2nd quarter the game was back goal for goal between the two teams, with some incredible defence partnerships working to get the ball turned over and back down the court, Portsmouth attack was quick to convert their shots into goals. Unfortunately in the final quarter, Southampton found a spark which knocked Portsmouth’s confidence and in the end Southampton won the game by 14 goals.

The Intramural 2nd team despite their unity and continuous support both off court and on court, the Southampton Intramural side were dominating. Although the Intramural 2nd team pushed for every interception and swift pass, this was never enough to catch up with the Southampton score which finished in a 65-10 win over the home team.

Despite the morning’s games not going quite to plan, the Netball Club’s ability to keep cheering and remaining positive was second to none. The Netball Club 4th team almost mirrored the same game played by the Netball 5th team from the morning. With goal for goal up until the final quarter, Portsmouth were capitalising on all of Southampton’s errors with effortless passing and drive down the court it was a game which was considered to be a Portsmouth win. Unfortunately, Southampton picked up their pace in the final quarter and put the real pressure on the Portsmouth side, this caused Portsmouth unable to keep possession and the score line, with Southampton winning by just 9 goals – 39-28.

On the other courts, the Portsmouth Netball 2nd team were also fighting for the win. During the 2nd

(Credit: UoP Students’ Union)

quarter, Portsmouth gained a 6 goal lead from 6 consecutive goals. The attack was motivated and with clear interceptions carried down the court it was proving that the game was in Portsmouth’s favour. Again, it seemed a common theme that despite the majority of the game going in Portsmouth’s favour, Southampton during the 3rd and 4th quarter of the game matched Portsmouth’s shooting streak and trumped it. On court and off court encouragement was not enough for Portsmouth to hold onto their well fought for score, and Southampton won 55-45.

The final game between Portsmouth Netball 1st team and Southampton 1st team was soon underway. With barely any turn-around time, every supporter was on the side line with banners and chants galore. The same was done by the away crowd too. Portsmouth wanted one BUCS win of the day and it was promising with the almighty home crowd.

Motivated by their other 5 wins of the day, the visiting side wanted to keep their number of wins going up, and it was by no means an easy game for either side. Portsmouth proved their potential by making a strong start and finishing off some excellent shooting from all areas of the attacking circle. It seemed a struggle for Portsmouth 1st team though to maintain their strong stance from the beginning of the game, and soon Southampton were the obvious dominator’s. Overtaking Portsmouth’s score was not enough and Southampton continued to make Portsmouth work for every ball possible. Tensions were high on court and off court, and it was a disappointing loss for the 1st team with the final score being 37 – 61.

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