Last year was a phenomenal season for UWE’s Netball Club . After remaining undefeated and league winners for the second consecutive year, they triumphed in their premiership playoff to become the only female sports team to currently represent UWE in a BUCS Premiership League.
No one said this year was going to be easy and as newbies to the Premiership League UWE Netball 1st were always going to be viewed as the underdogs. Undoubtedly as players, UWE found weekly that they were coming up against the country’s supreme netball talent pushing them to both their physical and mental limits. As a club that prides itself on the determination and commitment of all its members, there was never any doubt that UWE Netball 1st were going to let their new found premiership status slip away.
Despite narrowly missing out on a win against the current top of the league UWIC (34-31) and 3rd placed Brunel, (36-34) morale amongst the team squad never floundered. Through pure hard work and unrivalled team spirit, UWE Netball have once again experienced success. In their most recent game against Gloucester (Wednesday 3rd Dec), the team walked away with a victorious score line any standard team envies 59-26; proving to themselves, spectators and the rest of the Premiership League that they deserve their place amongst the country’s finest.
You wouldn’t have been able to tell from the UWE players on court, but the outcome of this very game would determine their fate for next season. A win would see the team maintain their current premiership status, whereas a loss would find them a nose sniff away from relegation back to the league they fought for years to leave.
No parent, trainer, coach or supporter could have asked for a more blissful 1st quarter to such a significant game. After 15 minutes of play and some outstanding defence by every player on court, UWE were 19-2 up. Its no surprise, that with shooting stats from Gemma Gray and Charlie Boage just under 80%, and the off circle attack dominated by Nadine Berry, the goals kept coming in throughout the 2nd quarter, with the Gloucester defence unable to do anything against this unstoppable force.
With consistently high turn over rates from the defence consisting of Chantelle Wopara, Sinead Finnegan, Gaby Pratten and Becca Gourley, Gloucester were never given the opportunity to bring the score line within any challenging amount allowing UWE to begin the 4th quarter with the pressure of a win released somewhat. Freshers’ Chantelle Smith and Lucy Holland blended effortlessly amongst the team, acting as the key linking player between attack and defence.
At full time, the score read 59-26 to UWE, an unheard of result for a premiership league match. This was undoubtedly Netball’s best performance of the season with every single player showing their true potential and just proving that hard work really does pay off!