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Santander International Senior League Match Reports 15th January 2023

Atla Group Pumas,22 v Route One Connections, 35
POTM Sara Watterson for Route One Connections

This was the first game back after the Christmas break for both teams, who started off tentatively. Route One began with some brilliant feeding into the circle from Rhi Evans (C) and Eliana Kneen (WA) into the very capable hands of Rebecca Cooke (GS) and Nicci Spencer (GA). Route One took the lead finishing the quarter 8-5 up.

Alta Pumas came back fighting in the second quarter, some fantastic interceptions from defensive duo Caroline Maddrell (GK) and Zoe Shimmin-Mann (GD) kept the Route One score down. Elle Looney (C) and Bethan Kneen (WA) worked tirelessly to help bring the ball down the Court to Hazel Bailey (GA) and Ashleigh Shimmin (GS) who were both on great
shooting form. Caroline Maddrell grew in confidence in the circle, in her first defensive appearance since a serious injury last season, taking many balls fed into the circle ahead of the attacking player.

The battle continued in the 3rd quarter. Route One dominated the mid court. With the presence of Cat Keeling in defence, Sara Watterson and Rhi Evans’ impressive flying interceptions, Route One were able to gain more of the possession. It was down to the Alta Group’s defensive duo to keep fighting and disrupt their fluid pattern of play. Stacey Batty (WD) ably assisted the defence, making her opponent work hard to keep the ball safe. Atla Group Pumas continued to find the net at crucial moments and the quarter ended with just 6 goals difference between the two teams.

Route One came out strong for the final quarter. With the solid defensive unit of Cat Keeling, Sara Watterson and Paige Skillicorn making it difficult for Alta group Pumas to find a way into their attacking circle. Route One were able to relax into the game and as they gained momentum and confidence, the shots were flying up and in. Atla Group Pumas struggled to
keep up with the pace of the previous three quarters but were pleased to come away with a well deserved point. Route One were the worthy winners of this match with the final score ending 35-22 to Route One.

Player of the match - Sara Watterson

Thompson 2, 7 v Simcocks Gold Eagles, 29
POTM Lizzie Power for Simcocks Gold Eagles

Thompson knew it was going to be a tough game from the start with Simcocks going undefeated so far this season. The first quarter saw Simcocks take the lead 9- 2 with some excellent shooting from Aalish Kelly (GS) and Ella Crowe (GA). However, the quarter did not go uncontested with some great defence from the Thompson trio, Charlotte Christian (GK) Rochelle Boyd (GD) and Hannah Clague(WD).

The second quarter was better for the Thompson team, with Thompson's defence creating plenty of opportunities for their shooting duo Emily Gaylor (GA) and Chloe Schofield (GS). Unfortunately the Thompson shooters struggled to find the net as they were put under great pressure by Simcocks' defence, Lizzie Power (GD) and Megan Howland (GK). The quarter ended 5-16 to Simcocks.

The third quarter continued in much the same vein with Simcocks' Lizzie Power (GD) continuing to dominate the Thompson shooting circle with some great intercepts. Lizzie also picked up plenty of rebounds and made life very difficult for the Thompson shooters. Despite this, there was some excellent through-court play by the Thompson attackers Natalie Christian (WA) and Karen Duncan(C) and continued strong defence. Simcocks pushed further ahead, with Bayleigh Mitchell (WA) andDionne Wall (C) connecting well with their shooters, resulting in Simcocks taking the third quarter 24-5.

With nothing to lose the Thompson team made numerous changes going into the 4th quarter in an attempt to stem the flow of the Simcocks girls. Whilst it was too little too late, the Thompson team did not lose heart and were determined to make things difficult for Simcocks. The last quarter ended 29-7 with Player of the Match deservedly going to Simcocks's Goal Defence Lizzie Power.

Division 1.
Suntera Global Ballasalla Drifts, 27 v Route One Volts, 7
POTM Amy Gelling for Suntera Global Ballasalla Drifts

Both teams were looking forward to the first game of 2023. Route One Volts won the toss and started the game with Sarah Morgan scoring the first points of the match. Ballasalla Drifts then started to take charge as Annelise Mellor and Annabelle Clague were able to bring the ballconfidently into their attack third where Jo Hicks (GS) and Lily Gell (GA) continued to work well together and built a lead of 7 as the quarter ended 10-3.

Volts made a few tactical changes at both ends of the court at the start of Q2 but drifts remained unchanged. Ballasalla continued to apply pressure on the Volts attack with Gemma Kermode (WD) and Amy Gelling (GD) making crucial interceptions in and outside the circle that gave the Drifts the opportunity to add to their score. The score at the end of Q2 was 18-4.

The start of Q3 again saw changes from both sides. Ealish Baxter’s move to GD created more pressure on the Drifts shooters and created opportunities for Volts centre court players Fern Corlett(WD), Milly Killeen (WA) and Izzie Burns (C) to bring the ball up the court with more confidence. The Drifts defenders (Clare Crowe GK, Amy Gelling GD and Annabelle Clague) continued to make interceptions at key times that their shooters Lily Gell (GA) and Lucy Radcliffe (GS) were able to scorefrom. Q3 finished 23-6.

In Q4 further changes were made by both teams. Both defences continued to make crucial interceptions in their defending ends, particularly Amy Gelling for Drifts. This allowed Charlotte Thompson (WA Drifts), Annabelle Clague (C Drifts) Milly Killeen (C Volts) and Aalin Mayers (WA Volts) to feed their shooters and give them the opportunity to add to their scores. Q4 finished 27 - 7 to Ballasalla Drifts.



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