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By Francesca Plom on 15.3.2024

Varsity: First Team Netball

First Team Kent 53-19 CCCU

After a narrow victory over Christchurch in 2011, Kent netball firsts were nervous to face this prestigious opposition again. However with the newly introduced early morning sessions of this academic year, the Kent girls had never been in better shape to take on the challenge.

With Kent netball never having played in front of such a large crowd, tensions were running high. Upon starting the game, the high flying leaders of 1a managed to feed their shooters, Francesca Plom and Charlotte Jordan, with ease. Alongside this, defenders Louise Newcombe, Emma Chivers and Alex Towalska successfully made several vital turnovers leading to an 11 – 5 lead at quarter time.

Photo courtesy of Sam Allard.

Kent started the second quarter where they finished off the first. The centre court play from Sarah Edgington and Hollie Bishop outshone Christchurch, bringing the attack their most successful quarter of the game. At the half way point, Kent held the lead at 28 – 12 and with Kent pulling away, Christchurch’s heads began to drop. This was particular displayed by Christchurch’s goal keeper who throughout the game was given several warnings by the umpire (and her own players) to calm down. However this did not affect Kent’s shooters, who continued to show they could perform under the tense pressure.

A dominant UKC side launch another offensive break. Photo courtesy of Sam Allard.

Moving into the third quarter, Newcombe and Chivers displayed a master class in defending, allowing Christchurch only two goals in 15 minutes. The turnovers then allowed Kent to pull away further to a 39-14 lead with one quarter remaining. Moving into the last quarter, the fitness and determination of the Kent’s team shone as they hit their 50 goal target.

Blatant foul: The Christchurch goalkeeper takes a ‘hands on’ defensive approach. Photo courtesy of Sam Allard.

Christchurch’s goalkeeper was ‘given several warnings by the umpire’. Photo courtesy of Sam Allard.

Christchurch’s discipline hit an all-time low which Kent took advantage of. The game ended with a convincing Kent win of 53-19. From this game Kent firsts are taking the positives of some outstanding play into their final two league games, of which they need to win one to see them win the league of 1a for a second year running.


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