The hotly awaited contest between last years’ College Netball League Champions James, and Runners up Derwent resulted in a demolishing of the team in blue. Having both lost influential players to University Netball and graduation this match was tipped as a pointer to who could potentially be the dominant team in the league this year. Remembering the thrilling Varsity qualifier game from last year it would have been difficult to foresee the largely one-sided display that James produced over their closest rivals.
James selected a strong line up recalling Connie Shaw who had a huge impact on the game producing a Player of the Match performance. Setting the tone for the rest of the game, James started extremely quickly taking an early 4-0 lead. The speed at which they moved the ball up the court dazzled their opponents and the superior height of James’ shooters proved too much for the doggedness of Derwent’s defenders.
The situation turned from bad to worse for Derwent as their shooter Caitlin Little was injured in a collision with the James keeper. It wasn’t completely one sided though but when Derwent were able to get the ball into a scoring position their forwards weren’t on form. 12-3 at half time was fair.
Derwent were starting to live with the pace of the game in the second half and in passages of play showed what they were capable of but they were unable to string these together to turn it into a period of dominance.
James maintained their form throughout and the match petered out towards the end with the victory secured for James. James Captain Annie Dove said after the match ‘It was a tough match, everyone tried their best but it was a good win.’ With plenty of matches still to go it is too early to crown James as champions but with this dominant 22-7 victory over Derwent they have certainly stamped their authority on the league.