NEW SEASON!!! 2017-18

Prem Team vs Warrington – 07/10/2017

Second game of the season for Blackpool Netball Club’s Prem Squad saw them take on Warrington, last year’s league winners. Blackpool were aware of the tough test ahead, but coming from a convincing win over Manchester, confidence was high going into the game.

The first quarter got underway with Blackpool taking the first centre pass and with a nervy start from the girls, managed to get the first goal on the score sheet. Warrington hit back and within minutes got themselves a 2 goal lead. Blackpool didn’t let this phase them and with some patient play through the attack and resilience in defence, they managed a 4 goal run on Warrington, taking them back into the lead. The first quarter proved these two teams to be a good match, ending as a draw (14-14) – everything still to play for.

The second quarter started much the same as the first, with the first couple of minutes going goal for goal. Not much was separating these teams, neither team giving much away and capitalising when given possession.  The first half ended with a slight advantage to Warrington, 28-26.

The third quarter saw the change in the game; unfortunately it was to be Blackpool’s downfall.  Warrington seemed strong, and some unforced errors from Blackpool allowed Warrington to push on with their lead. A change in Blackpool’s defence offered more opportunity for turnover, but Warrington maintained their strength and took the game to the final break with an eight goal advantage (42-34).

Blackpool remained positive with the hope something could still be taken from this game. They pushed on in the final quarter showing Warrington they were not defeated yet, managing to close in on the gap slightly. Consistency proved the overall advantage for the Warrington side, who again pushed on, forcing errors from the Blackpool girls and proving too strong for Blackpool to cope with. The game ended with the score 56-45.

Overall a disappointing result for Blackpool, but too early in the season yet for it to be defining. Still lots to work on for Blackpool and the girls remain positive going into the next game away at Deeside on Saturday 14th October.

 

Prem Team vs Manchester – 24/09/2017

Starting 7 –

GS – Rachael Bramhall

GA – Emily Cowell

WA – Rachel Towell

C – Abby Pridmore

WD – Rachael Leech

GD – Vic Danson

GK – Bec Ashworth

Subs – India Rogers, Katie Montgomery & Elzabeth Cardwell

After a long summer break and an intense pre season, Blackpool Netball Club were ready to return to elite competition and commence their NW Prem campaign. Although they achieved the double over Manchester last season the squad knew there was no room for complacency and the pre match team talk revolved around a Plan C; committed, consistent, calm, challenge and control.

Blackpool needed to start the game strong and did just that, the score was 8-0 before Manchester responded due to the strength in defence and slickness in attack, a welcome return of Rachael Bramhall from maternity leave further strengthening the shooting circle. The relentless turn overs in defence from Bec, Vic and Rach L gave the attack numerous attempts at goal, which they took. The score at the end of the first quarter was 20-6.

In the second quarter India replaced Emily, Katie replaced Rachel, Elzabeth came on at GD with Vic moving out to WD and Rach L to the bench. Keen to start the second quarter the way they finished the last the focus was to take it steady in the first couple of minutes to bed in the changes. Goal for goal in the first few minutes as the changes settled another 5 goals unanswered helped to maintain the lead. However Manchester converted a turnover to score 3 goals in a row. However Elz and Bec in defence worked relentlessly in the circle and the the 2nd quarter finished 31-15.

In the third quarter Rach T came on at C, Emily at GS and Rach L at GD. Rach L slotted back in defence and provided turnovers and quick transitions through court from Katie and Rach T provided opportunities for the shooters who converted. Score at the end of the third quarter was 48-27.

The fourth quarter combination was as per the first apart from Elz who replaced Bec at GK. Blackpool’s confidence grew throughout the game and in the final quarter scored 9 on the bounce. Multiple turnovers, strong transitions and accurate shooting allowed them to see the game out confidently with no problems. The final score was 68-33.

Vic was awarded players POM, Emily oppositions, Rach B umpires and Bec A coaches demonstrating just how well the full team performed.

Next Prem fixture is at Palatine Leisure Centre on 7th October at 10am to last season’s League winners Warrington. Blackpool will be looking to build on this strong start and for a response to last season’s disappointing performance against the opposition.


2016-17 Season Match Reports

Prem Team vs Newman – 12/03/2017

Sunday 12th March saw Blackpool’s Premier League squad take on local Lancashire rivals Newman Netball Club at Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre at UCLan, Preston, in what promised to be a fantastic derby match.

The game started with Rebecca Ashworth and Vic  Danson in circle defence; Anna Jenkinson, Abby Pridmore and Rach Towell running the centre court; and India Rodgers and Emily Cowell shooting.   Blackpool started strong in the first quarter taking their first centre pass to goal, followed by a strong turn over from defence which again made its way to the shooters for an early lead. Blackpool taking any opportunity to find the net gave them a 3 goal lead at the end of the first quarter (12 – 9).

Going into the 2nd quarter 2 changes were made, bringing Elz Carwell on at GD and moving Vic Danson over to WD. It was a nervy start to this quarter form both sides as it took a couple of minutes for the changes to settle before things got back into full flow. A few errors crept in from the Newman side which aided in Blackpool edging further in front, giving them a 26 – 20 lead going into half time.

Third quarter changes saw Vic Danson back to GD and Faye Lawrenceson on to WD again with a slower start to the quarter but managing to increase the lead to 37 – 30 by the end of the third and finishing confident.

The only change going into the 4th quarter was Elle  Clarke onto WD. Feeling comfortable with their 7 goal lead, the Blackpool girls needed to maintain composure to see the game out. Changes to the Newman side seemed to rattle Blackpool, as unforced errors came into play. The score getting closer and closer to the final minute where Blackpool where up by one goal. A missed shot in the last 20 seconds saw Newman in possession who took the ball down to goal and scored on the final whistle, drawing the game 44 – 44 – a 7 – 14 quarter loss for Blackpool after leading all the way through. A very disappointing final score for the seaside girls and coaches, lessons to be learned.

Oppositions, Umpires and Players Player – India Rogers

Coaches Player – Rachel Towell

 

Prem Team vs Tameside – 04/03/2017

Blackpool Netball Club faced Tameside in their return fixture on Saturday.  After a big defeat the last time they played, Blackpool were keen to make amends and improve their mid table position.  A very different Tameside team took to the court, with a number of representatives from their National Premier League 1 team.  However, a full-strength squad allowed Blackpool to go into the game high in confidence and they began with Bec Ashworth at GK; Rachael Leech at GD; Vic Danson at WD; Abby Pridmore at C; Rachel Towell at WA; India Rogers at GA; and Emily Cowell at GS.

The game started at a fast and furious pace, and Tameside were quick to take the lead.  Blackpool didn’t let this phase them, and after some sterling work in defence, pulled the game back to 4 all.  The first quarter saw some impressive shooting from both teams, and the game went goal for goal.  Tameside were eventually able to capitalise on some errors by Blackpool and started to pull ahead with only a few minutes left on the clock.  Blackpool dug in and managed to pull off some great interceptions to finish the quarter tied on 13 all.

At quarter time, a slight re-shuffle in defence saw Rachael Leech move to GK, Vic Danson in to GD and Elzabeth Cardwell on at WD.  The changes paid off with Blackpool making some great turnover to pull ahead by a few goals.  Centre court showed their worth with some impressive variation in centre pass to break through the Tameside defence, and shooting continued where it had left off with both Emily and India popping the ball in from all over the circle.  Blackpool pulled ahead by 4 goals, which appeared to ruffle the feathers of the Tameside bench who became more vocal to put pressure on players on court.  It did the job and Tameside were back within 1 goal.  With seconds on the clock Blackpool managed to finish the quarter with a goal and had the lead at 28 – 26.

Blackpool kept the same 7 on court for the third quarter to try and capitalise on their lead.  Tameside, however, came out fighting and were keen to take control.  Some fast-paced play and pressure in defence saw the lead swing in favour of Tameside, who pulled away by 4 goals.  With barely any shots being missed, it became clear that turnover of the ball would give 1 team the edge, and Blackpool managed to do just that and pull it back and take the lead by 1 goal.  With only 10 seconds left on the clock, Tameside scored to finish the quarter tied on 42 all.

The final quarter saw Blackpool utilise the same 7 players, and the match was clearly hanging in the balance.  After a few minutes of the game going goal for goal, Tameside defence worked hard to pick off some circle feeds, and managed to pull ahead.  With 4 goals in it, Blackpool were keen to stay in the game.  With tensions high, the Tameside shooters missed shots, and Blackpool were able to pull back to keep within 1 goal.  The final few minutes saw both team convert centre passes, and try as they might, Blackpool were unable to make that all-important turn over which would pull them level.  The game finished with Blackpool losing out by 1 goal, with the score on 57-56, one of the highest scoring games in the North West Premier League this season – a testament to some impressive shooting by both teams.

Although a disappointing result, which could have easily gone the other way, Blackpool turned out a great team performance with all players making positive contributions.  Player of the match went to Rachel Towell, Players player to Vic Danson, Umpire and Coaches player to Emily Cowell.

Blackpool travel up the M55 this Sunday to face Newman who sit one place above them in the North West Premier League.  After a comfortable victory the last time they met, Blackpool will be keen to leap frog them.

 

Prem Team vs Oldham – 18/02/2017

Saturday 18th February saw Blackpool welcome Oldham Netball Club to the seaside for what was anticipated to be a tough match against the well established Oldham team.

The Blackpool girls knew they had a tough game ahead but nevertheless went into the fixture with personal, unit and team targets to meet. Oldham dominated from the first quarter and managed to clinch a three goal run on Blackpool in the mid of the quarter leaving Blackpool desperate to comeback but the first quarter finished 10-6.

Heading into the second quarter the team was kept the same with one change in Sarah Hardman taking over from team Captain Vic Danson at goal defence. The girls managed to start the quarter well again but yet again Oldham tightened on Blackpool’s attack making if very difficult for the Blackpool girls to find the gaps and resulted them in securing a run of seven goals. The half finished 28-14 calling for Blackpool to have a change in tactics to try something new in order to put out a stronger performance in the second half.

The third quarter saw changes in Abby Pridmore moving from centre wing attack  and Rachel Towell from WIng attack to centre. Rachel leech moved into the defensive circle to join Bec Ashworth and Vic Danson came back on at Wing defence which gave Blackpool new combinations and partnerships to try. The third quarter was turbulent 15 minutes with Blackpool battling against the resiliant  Oldham defence, but it was the final quarter that really saw Blackpool take some control back in the game with more focus regained and determination from players not to let Oldham win all four quarters. Shooters India Rodgers and Emily Cowell secured some long range shots which lifted the teams confidence but the game was nearing an end and finished 56-31 to Oldham.

Catch the girls this Saturday at Palatine Leisure Centre against Tameside Netball Club from 9.30am.

Oppositions Player-Emily Cowell
Coaches Player of the match- Rachel Leech
Umpires Player- Rachel Leech

 

Champs Team vs Chester – 18/02/2017

Blackpool Netball Club’s Championship team came away from their home town with a disappointing loss against Chester Netball Club.
Both teams took to the court feeling strong and positive however it didn’t end in the result they wanted. Shooter, Lydia Hunt, and goal attack, Anna Jenkinson, worked well together and within the first few minutes of the game giving Blackpool a 3 – 0 lead in the early first few minutes. Sadly this was shortly lived as Chester stormed ahead and took the lead from Blackpool. By the end of the first quarter Chester had the upper hand with the score at 4 – 10.
In the second quarter Blackpool brought Ella Croft and Katie Montgomery onto the court. Blackpool had their defensive duo, Sarah Hardman and Elzabeth Cardwell working to their limits to stop the Chester side from running away with the lead. Sadly the score didn’t reflect on the teams efforts as the second quarter finished at 11 – 22 to Chester.
Blackpool dug deep and entered the third quarter with fresh shooter Maisie Rogers. Blackpools defence, Kate Jenkinson and Faye Lawrenson, battled to bring the ball up court to help the attack but the visitors continued to build on their lead with an impressive nine consecutive goal spurt. The third quarter finished at a disappointing 13 – 32 to Chester.
Blackpool entered the final quarter of the game determined to improve on their score and close the gap. Tight defending from Elle Clarke and strong centre passes from Emma Gilfoyle pushed the team forward with hopes of putting pressure on the visiting side. Both teams worked hard until the final whistle but Chester proved they were the stronger team with a dramatic win of 19 – 42.

Players player-Sarah Hardman & Elzabeth Cardwell 

Coaches Player- Sarah Hardman 

Umpires Player- Anna Jenkinson

 

Prem Team vs Bury – 12/02/2017

The morning of the 12th Feb saw Blackpool Netball Club’s Regional Prem Squad travel away to Bury Grammar School to play against Manchester rivals, YWCA Bury, who they had not yet met this season. Despite the school being opened 30 minutes late, the Blackpool girls looked strong in warm up and raring to go.

The first quarter starting seven started with Becca Ashworth and Vic  Danson in circle defence, Rach Leech, Abby Pridmore and Rach Towell in centre court, and India Rodgers and Emily Cowell shooting. The quarter went goal for goal and end to end, with all players working tirelessly to gain or maintain possession, the tough 15 minutes ended at 12 – 12

During the 2nd quarter, errors off both teams started to creep in, that again led to the 15 minutes being end to end. After long periods with no goals and the ball being turned over left, right and centre on both teams, it was Bury who won the quarter by one goal, leaving the score 20 – 21 going into half time.

Half time changes – Emily Cowell GS, India Rodgers GA, El Cardwell WD, Sarah Hardman GD. Blackpool played hard and worked hard in the 3rd quarter and managed to get ahead by three goals at one point, but unforced errors meant that Bury pulled the score back to evens, the a ball ball and missed shot saw the Manchester side capitalise and win the quarter and bring the score out to 30 – 32.

A few minutes into the final quarter, the Bury captain came off having injured her Achilles, which gave Blackpool the opportunity to swap India Rodgers to GA and Emily Cowell to GS as well as bringing Rach Leech on to GD.  Unfortunately for the remainder of this quarter numerous errors crept in and lack of communication through court resulted  in Bury pulling away and winning the game 39 – 46.

Oppositions player – Rachel Towell

Players player – Becca Ashworth

Coaches player – Becca Ashworth

Umipires player – Abby Pridmore

 

Champs Team vs Westmoreland – 05/02/2017

Blackpool Netball Clubs championship team were left disappointed today after losing to Westmoreland 48 – 40. With little experience of the opposition Blackpool took to court with a mixed squad. Players settled into positions however defence struggled to prevent goals as Westmorland’s goal shooter was tall and accurate. With strong defence through court causing pressure to the opposition many turn overs lead to the ball playing up both ends of court. However Westmorland’s strong attack lead to a loss in the first quarter with a score of 16-9.

Determined not to let this shake us we fought hard, but with the skilled opposition taking advantage of the height they had in the shooting circle and the strong defence the extended the gap between the score winning the second quarter 28-15.

Going into the second half Blackpool made a few changes and continued the battle to stay in the game. Both teams did not give in leaving the gap between the score pretty similar which was 44-28.

During the final quarter Blackpool maintained there play whilst tiring out the opposition causing them to make mistakes and errors. Blackpool dug deep until the end closing the gap in the score to just 8 goals leaving the final score to be 48-40 to Westmorland. Disappointed with the performance Blackpool netball club have lots to learn from this game and although came out with a loss, fought there hardest to the end.

Oppositions player of the match- Kate Jenkinson

Coaches Player of the Match- Anna Jenkinson

Players Player of the Match- Anna Jenkinson.

 

Prem Team vs Deeside – 04/02/2017

Blackpool was determined this Saturday to come away with a win after the defeat against Warrington last weekend. This was reflected in the first quarter play where Blackpool started strong with the stalwart double in the D, Danson (GD) and Ashworth (GK) marking tight whilst leech (WD) and Pridmore (C) tracked the ball well making it difficult for Deeside to manoeuvre the ball into the circle. The ball was moved up the court nicely by the strong Pirdmor (C) and Towell (WA) into the hands of the precise Cowell (GS) Rogers (GA) moved elegantly and with strength around the circle to enable her to sink shots. The first quarter was strong for Blackpool which reflected the score – Blackpool 11 Deeside 8.

Team changes in the second quarter saw Hardman take the GD bib and Danson move to WD, Rogers GA and Cowell GS – the quarter started how we have come to expect with Deeside coming out fighting to turn the score around. Hardman called time, coming off with an injury which sore leech take the GD bib, she came out strong and with relentless marking she was breaking down the GA play. The quarter was good for Blackpool however Deeside were not making it easy and were closing down play in the goal third but Pridmore and Towell drove and manoeuvred well and with patience too deliver to ball too Cowell and Rogers. The final score of 2nd quarter was Blackpool 23 Deeside 17.

Third quarter changes meant Hardman took the WD bib and Leech too GD. Deeside came out strong however Blackpool embraced this and continued to play there own game – with Towell meeting the ball with strength, Pridmore flying through for interceptions we thought for every ball and moved up the court, Deeside saw the strength of Ashworth with some interceptions and ability to read the ball meaning that more times then one we were turning it around and began to have the upper hand, Deeside however were not admitting defeat and continued to track our every move, Cowell continued to impress with the edge of the D shots and the partnership with Rogers and Cowell continues to strengthen.  Third quarter score – Blackpool 36 deeside 24.

Final changes for the last quarter saw Hardman at GK, leech at GD, Danson WD Rogers GA and Cowell GS. Blackpool continued to perform and fight for the win which was demonstrated with the strong court play, tight marking and a solid final quarter performance, Deeside were still moving at pace to bring the ball down court showing determination to draw goals back however Blackpool remained composed and came out on top with a final score of Blackpool 45 Deeside 33.

This was a strong performance and a well deserved win by Blackpool; we are in high spirits for our next away fixture against Bury on the 12th of February.

Players Player of the Match – Abby Pridmore

Umpires Player of the match – Abby Pridmore

Coaches Player of the Match – Abby Pridmore

Oppostions Player of the Match – Rachel Towell

Prem & Champs vs Warrington – 28/01/2017

Saturday saw two Blackpool Teams head to Warrington for a double dose of netball. The Prem squads were the first to take to the court. With a disappointing performance from a Blackpool perspective on their first clash of the season with Warrington, Blackpool set out to improve their performance with the hope of coming away from the game with something.

Things didn’t start too great for Blackpool – although the effort and work rate was there from the Blackpool girls, conversion to goal just wasn’t forthcoming with Warrington taking a comfy lead in the first couple of minutes. Despite Blackpool regaining their composure and showing some clever passages of play, the damage has already been done, and Blackpool went into quarter time 7 goals down (13-6).

The second and third quarters started much the same as the first and Warrington became comfortable in getting a run of goals. Blackpool looked panicky on occasions and looked as though they had run out of ideas of how to break the Warrington dominance down. At the end of the third quarter, the score line and performance was very disheartening for the Blackpool team (41-19).

The fourth quarter however, as the Warrington team tired, Blackpool began to up their game, the units started to ‘gel’ better together and there were some impressive performances through court, giving more opportunity for goals, which the shooters converted with ease – Blackpool won themselves this quarter with hard work and resilience. A very much improved end to a disappointing game for Blackpool and the team managed to come away from the game with a point for getting over half of Warrington goals – an aim given by the coaches at the end of the third quarter (53-32). From this there was a lot of hope on the Champs game to salvage something from the morning trip to Warrington.

The Champs game started very well for the Blackpool girls, in fact, the complete opposite to how the Prem game had started earlier on in the day – Blackpool looked impressive throughout the court; the defence taking numerous interceptions, the centre court looking strong in their delivery into the circle and the shooters creating space and converting the goals. Blackpool contentedly took the quarter 15-9.

The second quarter saw many changes for the Blackpool team which was clearly seen on court as the team struggled with a settling in period – Warrington managed to pull a few goals back, making the Blackpool team nervous about holding on to their lead. The third quarter saw a slight improvement in the Blackpool performance which ended with a 6 goal lead for the girls – confidence fled throughout the squad that a win from the game was definitely in their sights.

With confidence in the Blackpool camp high, the fourth quarter saw the girls push on their lead. Blackpool were impressive in their movement throughout the court, not giving Warrington chance to get themselves back into the game; stopping their flow with tight defensive pressure resulting in turnover. The work paid off for the girls and the final score reflective their performance (35-25), some positive news for Blackpool to take from the day.

 

Prem Team Game 8 vs Trafford 07/01/2017

Won 63-41

BNC’s match v Trafford on Saturday 7th January proved to be a must win game. The first game of a new year gave the girls the chance to start this half of the season on the right foot. Looking back to the first half of the season, a rollercoaster of performances was clear from the Blackpool team. Sometimes they had hit their stride and dominated throughout, other times, more consistency was required to turn around some disappointing results. This was certainly going to be a tough game and one they were capable of winning. Trafford won the toss and took control of the first centre pass, aiming to convert it to a goal. After some tight man on man defence, Blackpool turned the ball over and gained possession with the quick feet and hands of Danson. Leading by example, captain Danson safely navigated the ball into the attacking third and it was converted. Blackpool quickly secured a 4-1 lead within the first few minutes. Emily Cowell has proved a great addition to the Blackpool squad this season. She is a pro in that shooting circle, not being afraid to shoot from wherever she receives the ball. Her great decision making and team work with India Rogers continued Blackpool’s attack and by the end of the first quarter, Blackpool led 17-8. The attacking unit were fast and their passes were on point, enabling the BNC shooters to control the circle with ease. Some great tips from all seven players on court and quick passes between the shooters ensured BNC took complete control.

The second quarter saw the introduction of Elle Clarke into the WD position and Rachel Leech moved from WD to GD. Coach Towell demanded a tighter positioning in the defensive circle to minimise the passes that were going into the Trafford shooting circle a little too easily. Trafford turned over the first centre pass of the quarter, Blackpool now needed to readjust and get used to the new combinations on court. Pridmore and Towell have developed a key relationship for the team, their quick circle edge feeds forced the defence to over commit and passes to be easily threaded into the shooters. After an unsettled start, Blackpool quickly gathered pace again and half way through the quarter, led 25-18. Trafford are an experienced team, and being from Manchester, they play constantly against tough opposition. Blackpool’s defence were dogged in their determination to win ball. Elle Clarke man marked her player and gained tip after tip towards the end of the quarter. Coach Walker constantly wanted more from the defence throughout the court and shouts for them to deny space could be heard. Despite this request, Trafford ended the quarter strong and shot for goal just as the quarter time went. The quarter ended 35-23 to Blackpool.

Youth and experience has been blended with this Blackpool team and careful team changes by Towell and Walker allowed some of the younger players to take the court. Danson returned to the court at WD; Rogers and Cowell swapped positions within the circle, aiming to outwit the defence; Jenkinson took the court at C, Hardman took the GD bib and Cardwell to GK. It was important that Blackpool allowed for these adjustments and kept calm in the opening minutes of the quarter. Cardwell’s talent (which has been identified nationally) was clear to see. Her ability to read play and intercept passes were key in turning the ball over. She combined well with Hardman, a new partnership to this team, to ensure that Blackpool maintained possession. They quickly established a 48-32 lead. A key strength of Blackpool’s play was their centre pass delivery. Whoever played in whatever combination, the ball was safely delivered and 9 times out of 10, it was converted. The girls were heading into the final quarter 49-35 up.

The fourth quarter started and there was all to play for. Blackpool were determined to finish strong and strike out a positive and consistent performance. Leech was introduced to C, a defensive player who attacks brilliantly, Pridmore moved to WA and Rach Towell to GA. Danson finished just as she had started with a steal of the first centre pass. Quick hands, strong defence and confident shooting were common features of this team in this game and it wasn’t long before 50 was put on the score board for the home team. The whole team worked hard to deny space and enable interceptions to be made through the court. The girls were confident with the ball. They worked hard to reset the ball to the third line and then patiently place the ball into the circle. The final score was 63-41 to Blackpool. This was a great result for the new year and one that will give the girls confidence going into the second half of the prem season.

Oppositions Player of the Match-  Emily Cowell

Players Player- Bec Ashworth

Coaches Player- Emily Cowell

Umpires Player – Rachael Leech

 

Champs Team Game 6 vs Ribble Valley 17/12/2016

Blackpool netball club championship team on the back of two defeats knew that their next game would be tough against Ribble Valley. Bringing some more experienced players including Abby Pridmore, Rachell Towell, Emily and Emily Cowell.  The first couple of minutes of the first quarter seemed to be quite a challenge and a bedding in period for Blackpool as they went 3-0 down. The girls then worked hard as they pulled it back and at the end of the quarter Blackpool were drawing 13-13.

As the second quarter began Blackpool were determined to have a better start. With both teams making a few changes Blackpool’s changes proved to have worked as they won that quarter 12-7 making the score 25-20 at half time.

With the home side winning at half time they then pushed to keep their lead but with a change in Ribble Valley’s defence it proved difficult for the girls to stay ahead as they lost the quarter 16-10.

As the final quarter began with Blackpool behind by one both teams fought it out to get the win. Throughout the quarter Blackpool pulled it back giving them a two goal advantage making the game even more tense, with accurate shooting from both Ribble Valley and Blackpool. However, Blackpool managed to keep calm under pressure from the Ribble Valley team and kept their two goal lead. In the dying minutes of the game, Blackpool kept possession of the ball well, as Ribble Valley seemed to run out of energy meaning Blackpool were feeling less pressured closing out the match passing the ball round like it was a warm up session.

Player of the match- Abby Pridmore

Players Player- Elzabeth Cardwell and India Rodgers

Coaches Player- Elle Clarke

 

Prem Team Game 7 vs Capricorn 10/12/2016

Blackpool were keen to build on their recent triumph against Newman last week to end 2016 on a high.

They faced Capricorn, a new addition to the North West premier league, who undoubtedly had a lot to prove following their recent promotion. Blackpool entered the first quarter with a few changes to their usual starting 7 due to unavailability, however they were ready to show that this would have no compromise on their performance. Despite both teams successfully converting their centre’s to goal throughout the first 5 minutes, some fantastic defending from Bec Ashworth and Vic Danson enabled Blackpool to gradually pull away. They ended the first quarter 14-7.

Throughout the second quarter Blackpool continued to build on their lead with the help of Faye Lawrenson at WD who flew in for some great interceptions. Play was steady down the court allowing the shooters, Rachael Bramhall and Emily Cowell, to convert to goal. The second quarter ended 29-14.

The third quarter saw the return of Blackpool’s superstar England player Eleanor Cardwell who came on at GA. A warm welcome back was also felt as Sarah Hardman returned from injury as GK. The opposition adjusted to Blackpool’s changes well and put away a few consecutive goals. However, brilliant feeds from Emily Cowell who moved effectively to WA and effortless shots from Eleanor, Blackpool’s lead continued: 48-29.

The final quarter saw the Cardwell sisters take to court together as Elzabeth Cardwell put in a great performance at GD. The passion

of the team could really be seen throughout this match as all players gave everything until the last whistle was blown. A fantastic performance from Blackpool and definitely one to be celebrated at the upcoming Christmas meal! Final score: 62-40.

Players player of the match: Faye Lawrenson and Emily Cowell.

Oppositions player of the match: Rachael Leech.

Coaches player of the match: Faye Lawrenson

Umpires player of the match Rachael Leech.

 

Prem Team Game 6 vs Newman 03/12/2016

Coming back off a loss last week against Tameside and having beat Newman 3 times in the previous season Blackpool were determined to come away from this game with a win.

Newman took the lead in the first couple of minutes with our shooters missing a couple on the bounce. But this didn’t affect their confidence as both teams had a strong first quarter but with Blackpool finishing with a slight lead of 2 goals.

Looking to build on the slight lead Blackpool had they continued to gain turnover in defence and transition well through to the attack, this weeks captain Bec A particular effective in the defensive circle providing turnover after turnover. Blackpool extended their lead to 24-16.

Blackpool had the opportunity to take the game away from Newman with their 8 goal lead, but Newman didn’t give up and forced Blackpool to dig deep but Blackpool still remained on top but having only won that quarter by 2 goals they needed to close off the game in the final quarter. Special mention to Elle Clarke who made her Prem debut in the 3rd quarter.

Still confident going into the final quarter Blackpool played some slick netball and continued to build on their lead with great shooting in the circle, strong drives by the centre court and turnovers in defence. Blackpool went on to win the game 50-36.

Oppositions POM – India Rogers
Players POM – Rebecca Ashworth & Rachael Leech
Coaches POM – Rebecca Ashworth
Umpires POM – Rachael Bramhall

 

Prem Team Game 5 vs Tameside 27/11/2016

Sunday 27th November welcomed a fierce and feisty rivalry against Tameside Netball Cub which finished as a draw the last time the two teams met last year. 

The game started fast, with Tameside coming out the starting blocks strong! The first few minutes flew by and Tameside eased into a 3-0 lead. Blackpool didn’t let this affect their confidence or determination and fought hard back to close the gap. The girls left the first quarter with the score at 10-9 to Tameside.
                A few positional changes were made for the second quarter, seeing Rachel Bramhall at goal attack and Emily Cowell to goal shooter.  Mid court duo Rachel Towell and Abby Pridmore worked hard to drive the ball into the attacking third, threading accurate passes through Tameside defence to the shooters who slotted the ball through the net.  Blackpool were steadily making a return but a unexpected injury time came from Rachel Bramhall, who had to leave the court for illness, leaving the girls to reposition and giving Rachel Towell the opportunity to move to Goal Attack. The unsettlement knocked Blackpool and the next few minutes allowed Tameside to counter attack and secure a steady run of goals, the half time score fnished 27-19.

                Blackpool  refocused and entered the third quarter with Rebecca Ashcroft at Goal keeper and Rachel Leech at GD. Blackspool’s defence and attack worked intensively to create a consecutive 5 goal march against the Tameside squad, but the hard work of each player sadly didn’t reflect on the ending score of the third quarter, as Tameside continued their lead finishing at 43-32.
After a team talk with the coaches, Blackpool entered the final quarter with Victoria Danson at GD and Faye Lawrenson at WD. Both teams started strong and steady but Tameside was proven to be the stronger side as they stormed ahead with a lead of 52-37. Although Blackpool didn’t give up the fight, it was clear that Tameside were to leave the game victorious. As the final whistle went the score ended at 62-40.
Sunday the 27
th of November was a sad loss for the Blackpool girls but something they can all learn and grow from. Catch the Blackpool girls on Saturday 3rd December in their Derby game against Preston based team Neman Netball Club at Blackpool 6th Form 10am.

Players Player- Rachel Leech

Coaches Player- Abby Pridmore

Oppositions Player Vote- Emily Cowell  

Champs Team Game 5 vs Oldham 26/11/2016

Regional Rivalry Eagerly Awaited

An eagerly awaited regional game between Blackpool Netball Club’s Championship Team, and Oldham Netball Club’s Championship Team. They faced each other on the 26th November for the first time this season on Oldham’s home turf.

The Blackpool girl’s went out with full confidence and determination as they knew that the game ahead was going to be tough.

The first quarter Oldham took advantage of Blackpool’s slow and shaky start. Both team’s progressed the ball well down the court, however Blackpool faced a challenge in getting the ball through to the shooters and the score finished 19-4 in the first quarter.

Going into the second quarter, both teams brought fresh legs onto the court which provide more effective for Oldham as they hyped up the lead. Blackpool tried to stay resilient  determined not to give up, but Oldham pushed ahead making the score at half time 30-8 in the favour of Oldham.

Blackpool made multiple changes in attack and defence with Ellé Clarke and Elzabeth Cardwell switching positions and the introduction of Anna Mcvicar onto the court in attack which proved effective in favour of Blackpool. Blackpool carried on chipping away at the score deficit but Oldham’s determination pulled through as they continued to ease the ball into the shooters. The Blackpool girls managed to pull back a little in the quarter only losing the quarter by one goal but it was too little too late. The final quarter ended 56-29 to Oldham who’s dominating start proved enough to seal the win.

Ellé Clarke was named the opposition’s player and umpire’s players

Maisie Rodgers and sister India Rodgers were both named coaches player.

There were many positives for Blackpool to take away from this game, along with some improvements that they can use for their next game against Ribble Valley on the 17th December.

 

Prem Team Game 3 vs Deeside 29/10/2016

Blackpool Back On Track

Following a disappointing result against Warrington, Blackpool headed over the border to Wales to face Deeside in their 3rd fixture of the North West Regional Premier League. Previous encounters have proved to be fast paced and physical, so Blackpool knew it would be a challenging game.

The first quarter started off with some scrappy passages of play and both teams failed to capitalise on tips and turnovers resulting from tight defending. The physicality was evident from the very first whistle, and Blackpool had to show strength and determination when meeting the ball in order to keep possession. The attack worked hard to win back the ball after some disappointing shooting, and pressure up the court meant they were able to feed the ball back into Emily Cowell and Rachael Bramhall to try and pull away. With the ball flying back and forth up the court, the game was set up to be a test of fitness. Blackpool benefitted from a thorough pre-season, and pulled ahead by just two goals to win the first quarter 10-8.

The second quarter saw Blackpool revert to a tried and tested combination with Rachel Towell coming in to WA, Abby Pridmore move to C and Rachael Leech to WD. Despite the changes, the game continued where it had left off, and the pace remained fast and furious. Whilst Blackpool capitalised on a few errors from Deeside, the score line stayed tight with the game going goal for goal for the first 7 minutes. Hard work and lots of pressure from the Blackpool defence started to pay off, and Bec Ashworth and Vic Danson were given lots of opportunity for rebounds. A 5 goal run gave Blackpool a boost in confidence, and the whole team continued to work tirelessly to turn over the ball. The Deeside shooters struggled to convert, and Blackpool ended the quarter on another 3 goal run leaving them edging away at 25-16.

Blackpool made more changes for the third quarter, bringing Faye Lawrenson on to WD and Rachael Leech into the defensive circle at GD. Deeside were clearly tiring, and Blackpool used this as an opportunity to work the ball in patiently with some nifty passing between Rachel Towell, Abby Pridmore, Emily Cowell and Rachael Bramhall. This quarter was another close contest, with Blackpool only managing to pull away by a further 3 goals, taking the score to 39-27.

The final quarter brought Vic Danson back into GD and Rachael Leech out to WD. In the opposite circle, Emily Cowell changed in to GS allowing the introduction of India Rogers at GA. In the centre court, Rachel Towell took over at C switching with Abby Pridmore who moved into WA. With so many changes, Blackpool had to bed in the new combinations and continue to deal with the physicality from Deeside players. Despite a promising start, they struggled to maintain this through the quarter. Some creative passing and movement by the attack was quashed by the strong Deeside defence and the game ended in a similar way to how it started, with lots of errors and missed opportunity to score.

The final score finished with Blackpool winning 46-37, and despite the win are keen to work on areas to improve for the next fixture against an undefeated Oldham team on November 13th. Player of the Match went to Rachel Towell, Player’s Player was Vic Danson, and Coaches Player was awarded to Rachael Leech.

Blackpool Netball Club continue to offer quality coaching from age 7 right through to senior level and compete in local, regional and national competitions. If you are interested in getting involved as

a player, volunteer or sponsor please check out the website www.blackpoolnetballclub.co.uk for contact details or follow us on Twitter @BlackpoolNC.

 

 

Game Two – Prem Team vs Warrington 22/10/2016

This weekend saw the fierce contest between Blackpool and Warrington Netball Club. It was Blackpool that took the stunning win at the end of last season securing their place in the National Prem Play offs in May but this weekend produced a different story with the tables turned for the Blackpool girls.

Blackpool had a slightly smaller and more inexperienced squad compared to the last time the two teams had met, yet Blackpool knew they had a tough game on their hands. Warrington had returned to the Fylde Coast with unfinished business after the previous clash, and had brought with them a strong and experienced squad.

The first quarter saw a fiery start with Warrington out the blocks faster than normal leaving Blackpool fighting to keep up with the pace. The first few minutes were dominated by Warrington’s accurate shooting but after a rattled start, Blackpool soon managed to gain control and get into the momentum of game. Rachel Towell’s speed was too quick for the Warrington defence as Blackpool swiftly the ball from Centre Pass to goal with minimal passes. However it was Warrington that took the lead with the first quarter finishing 19-12.

The second quarter saw changes to the mid court with Rachel Towel moving back to defence and Emily Cowell out to wing attack and introducing Fran Duffy into the shooting circle. The changes took a while to bed in allowing Warrington to keep the ball moving quickly down the court to their shooters who repeatedly fired the ball through the net. The defensive zones implemented by Warrington were difficult for Blackpool to break through and slowed Blackpool’s strength of fast feeds and circle edge drives.

After an encouraging talk by the coaches during the half time talk and great vocal backing from supporters, Blackpool took to the court with fire in their bellies, determined to take control of the second half of the game.

 Faye Lawrenson came back on at Wing defence and Emily Cowell slotted back into the shooting circle and comfortably put away some long distance shots. The Blackpool girls had a tremendous start dominating the third quarter with six goals in a row and leaving Warrington in the dust. With tips and turnovers from all areas of the court, the girls had started to bite back and stormed through winning the third quarter. Despite an enthusiastic 15 minutes, the girls were left with too much after a rattled first half and the score line ending 30-46 going into the final part of the game.

Tired legs crept into the final quarter and Blackpool were running out of steam. The gap slipped as Warrington welcomed fresh legs to the court driving the game forward. Despite continued efforts by Blackpool’s defence to turn the ball and put pressure on in the circle, Warrington’s shooters proved invaluable.  The final score finished 62-42 leaving Blackpool disappointed with their performance but hungry to improve and regroup ready for the returned fixture in Warrington after Christmas.

 Player of the Match- Rachel Towell

 Coaches Player- Abby Pridmore

Players Player- Abby Pridmore

Catch the girls in action at their next home fixture against local rivals Newman on Saturday 3rd December 10am at Blackpool 6th Form!

 

Game One – Prem Team vs Manchester 02/10/2016

Today saw the start our our Regional Season with our Open Age squad travelling to Manchester (centre of the netball universe) to take on newly promoted Manchester.

Pre-match prep began well and included a tumbling routine from Centre Court Dynamo Abby Pridmore (with barely any practice).

The starting seven saw last season’s regulars Rebecca Ashworth, Rachael Leech, Abby Pridmore, Rachel Towell, and Rachael Bramhall take to the court together with our new addition for this season Emily Cowell.

A slow start for BNC, whilst bedding in new combinations, which gelled more towards the end of the first quarter and saw us 13/7 up with some great turn over from Rebecca, Vic and Rachael L.

The second quarter started with the same players but with Vic moving into circle defence and Rachael L moving out to the wing and we consolidated our performance despite an injury to Rachael B in the last few minutes, who had been on fine form. India Rogers made her debut to end the quarter with a 26/14 lead ably facilitated by the experienced centre court duo of Abby and Rachel T and their unfailing work rate.

Keen to utilise our strength in depth Sarah Hardman came on at GK for stalwart Rebecca A and she proceeded to hunt for the ball which saw the third quarter break finish 38/21 in our favour.

On to the last quarter and determined to prove the quality of our full squad, the ever versatile, Anna Jenkinson adapted well to the GA position to link with the accurate Emily Cowell, who unfortunately took a tumble which enabled India Rogers to give an opportune good account of herself.

In the final quarter we also saw Elzabeth Cardwell contribute effectively at GD and Faye Lawrenson persistently hassled at WD. Rebecca A resumed her dominant presence at GK to see the game end with a 44/30 win.

Thanks to all our usual support personnel Bonnie, Mel Clarke and of course Katie Marie, Natasha Scott and Natalie Gregan

Onwards and upwards 👏

 

Awards for today go to….

Oppositions POM – Rachel Towell

BNCs POM – Emily Cowell

Coaches POM – Emily Cowell and Rachel Towell

Umpire’s POM – Victoria Danson

Every credit also to those players who had their first experience of senior Regional League today – Faye Lawrenson Sarah Hardman Anna Jenkinson Elzabeth Cardwell and India Rogers (not sure why I can tag some and not others)

 

2016/2017 Season is about to begin…

Indoor training at Stanley Park (unless stated otherwise)..

Monday 5.30 til 7.00 p.m. Current years 7 and 8 (so last year’s 8s have now moved to a Friday)

Monday 7.00 til 8.30 p.m. Prem and Champs Squads

Tuesday 8.00 til 9.30 at Palatine Leisure Centre – Prem Squad and Champs Squad (when they have no FNL games)

Friday 4.30 til 5.30 p.m – all primary school ages from yr 2 to 6.

Friday 5.00 til 6.30 p.m. Current yr 9/13s none Champs Squad

A polite reminder that none attendance should be advised prior to the session to a coach, rather than the coach having to enquiry where the player is 😜

Looking forward to seeing you all. Please remember to be on time, have a positive mental attitude and be ready to work hard!

As always if you have any queries/concerns then please do let us know!

Thank you.

 

Match Reports – Prem Squad 2015/16 season.

Saturday 7th November 2015

Blackpool Netball Club V Tameside Netball Club

Blackpool faced a physical game this week against Manchester team; Tameside, in a close contest of experience and youth. Blackpool went into the game with plenty of energy and were quick to dominate in attack with great feeds and good vision from Katie Montgomery and Abby Pridmore. Blackpool shooters were available and confident to finish off with some great movement to the post from Rachel Bramhall. Tameside attempted to comeback, but Blackpool were on hand to punish every mistake that Tameside made with Rebecca Ashworth and Vic Danson hungry to take interceptions. Blackpool finished the first quarter well and in control with a fantastic performance and a confident lead 15-8.

A spirited start in the second half saw Tameside bring a new combination of players to the court allowing the fresh legs to pull a couple of goals back. However, Blackpool managed to stay in control of the lead with Rachel Towell driving hard to circle edge and feeding the vital last pass to Tasha Scott, who confidently put the ball in the net! After a flurry of goals at both ends of the court the half time ended 24-19.

The third quarter saw an array of changes from Tameside and an explosive first couple of minutes with the opposition stepping up the game tempo. Blackpool were slow to react and a much needed time out from Blackpool allowed the team to slow the pace and settle back into the flow of the game. From that point on, the game became even more physical with Emily Park and Laura Betts chasing down loose balls to gain possession back for Blackpool. Tameside pushed forward, adding pressure onto the home teams attacking circle, prompting Blackpool to change tactics with Zoe Cunliffe who used the centre court to play herself into better shooting opportunities. After securing a vital few shots the score ended 32-31 to Tameside at three quarter time.

The final quarter proved a tough challenge for Blackpool after a threatening performance from Tameside in the third quarter. Vic Danson led her team out for the final 15 minutes with the hope to still edge in front. A feisty first five minutes left players scrapping for the ball with the defence working tirelessly to turn the ball. Despite Blackpool’s best efforts the ball wasn’t getting converted to goal. A combination of missed shots, communication break down and wild passes left Blackpool trailing by three and Tameside clinching the win in the final few seconds. A tough and big lesson learnt for a disappointed Blackpool side.

Saturday 31st October 2015

Blackpool vs Deeside 

Halloween 2015 saw Deeside journey to Blackpool, only to be frightened by the calm, clinical passages of play to see the home team comfortably win 61-33. It was to be Holly’s last game before jetting off to Oz, and she didn’t disappoint. Starting 7 took the court and immediately Vic intercepted the first CP of the game, unfortunately Deeside turned this over and scored, 0-1. After some unlucky attempts at goal from Tasha, Deeside gained possession, however this was quickly turned over by Abby, and with good circle edge play, Rach B put the shot up, 1-1. Play continued goal for goal with some good tips and interceptions by our dream team defence of Holly, Vic and Becca, until Blackpool sharpened their attack and exploited the lack of height from the GK, allowing Rach T and Tasha to place some fab balls in to Rach B, who effortlessly converted. Efficient movement from Rach T allowed centre passes to easily be converted to goal, and Blackpool finished the 1st quarter 17-10.

The 2nd quarter saw Katie come on at Centre, Deeside started the quarter with a safe CP and a conversion. Our centre passes provided calm, skilful passes of play leading to goals from both Tasha and Rach B. Much the same as the first quarter, defence were relentless and challenged every ball, forcing Deeside to make some unforced errors, which we took advantage of to send to goal. Although there was some questionable passing from Blackpool, this did not deter from the score as our defence made turnovers look easy. Accurate shooting and effective movement in the circle from both shooters allowed us to increase the gap comfortably. One of the highlights from this quarter was a tip from Holly, on it’s way out of court, only to be kept in play and directed to the safe hands of Becca from where it was quickly taken through the court to goal. Blackpool finished the quarter 34-20, literally more of the same.

Quarter 3 sees Zoe on at GA, Abby back to C, and Katie to WA. The defensive trio remain the same, and really stepped up their game with effortlessly clean interceptions from Becca, and tips galore from Holly and Vic. With vocal encouragement from both coaches defence improved, however attack took time to settle, with Zoe uncharacteristically missing her few first shots. However she turned it back on to score some edge of the circle goals, and fed Rach B brilliantly. Interceptions from both ends resulted in a goal drought for a minute or two, but Blackpool came out on top with again top quality defence and highly accurate shooting. Shouts of ‘Steady!!’ from Gill, and ‘communication’ from Gabs helped to calm the team. Holly had an exceptional quarter with hands over the ball, reading the game well, bowing out in style. Score?

The final quarter brought Rach T to C, Abby to WD, and Tasha to GA. Our first CP was turned over by Deeside who converted, and followed with another goal, not a great start. Captain Vic had given us a target of not letting them reach half, we needed to pick things back up. The break came in the form of a backwards interception under the post from Becca, and with some fast passing, and a lucky one from Katie into Tasha, Zoe converted and we were back on track. A Deeside CP and Blackpool defence put immense pressure on each player, with Holly cleanly intercepting a ball across the circle. This was taken to goal with some quick circle edge passing from Rach T and Katie, and Zoe of course did not miss. Two bad passes from Katie made for two Deeside goals, but the team fought back to 53-30 (thanks Vic for the commentary!), with Tasha in a prime position to shoot but opting for a pop to Zoe further out! Definitely a first but not a mistake as Zoe easily swooshes the shot. The game slowed slightly with less goals, but ended 61-33. Altogether a stellar performance from the defensive unit of Becca, Vic and Holly, could not really fault them! A solid albeit fast paced and slightly hectic mid court of Rach T, Abby and Katie, and of course accurate shooting from all three shooters Rach B, Tasha and Zoe. A great team performance!!

Coaches Player – Rach B;  Players Player – Rach B;  Opposition POM – Rach T;  Umpire (Bon) – Becca;   Umpire (Nat) – Rach B

Saturday 3rd October 

Blackpool vs. YWCA Bury

 

On the back of a convincing win away at LSA the squad was pumped and ready to take on YWCA Bury, a team that we rarely manage to beat. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we would need to put out a great performance to secure the win. Blackpool lost the toss and Bury started the game with possession which they converted to gain the initial lead, followed by our own first centre pass conversion. After some great tips and interceptions from the defence and quick balls between the shooters Blackpool scored 3 on the bounce. But Bury came back fighting and scored 5 consecutive goals taking their lead to 7-4. It then went goal for goal with the teams scoring off their centre passes until the final minutes of the quarter which saw Blackpool capitalise on Bury’s rare missed shots and we managed to pull the game back to a draw ending the first quarter 13 all.

Changes to the 2nd quarter saw Katie to WA, Rachel T to C, Abby to WD and Rachael L to GD.  We wanted to start the quarter the way we ended the last and it looked that way when we converted our centre pass with great movement from the attack. However Bury managed to score 4 on the trot due to a couple of bad passes from the centre court, making the score 17-14 to Bury. With Blackpool forcing Bury to make errors we managed to pull it back to 18 all and it then went goal for goal with great play from both sides. A couple of unforced errors and forced balls into the circle saw Bury gain possession and take their lead to 28-23 but with a final dig from Blackpool at the end of the second quarter we managed to make a couple of turnovers and pull it back to 28-26 Bury.

Going into the 3rd quarter Zoe came on for Tasha at GA, Holly to WD and Rachael L and Vic swapped in the circle. Blackpool were making turnovers in defence but a couple of missed shots and break down in the attack saw Bury take their lead to 32-26. However Blackpool didn’t let this defeat them and we didn’t give up. With some great turnovers across the team we were able to pull the game back to 38 all but a few Bury turnovers meant the 3rd quarter finished 44-40 to Bury.

Although trailing for the majority of the game the coaches sensed that the depth of the Blackpool squad could be used to our advantage and a number of changes were made in the final quarter. Holly moved to GK, Rachael L to GD, Laura to WD, Abby to C, Rachel T to WA and Tasha to GS. Blackpool went into the final quarter still confident and a turnover from Holly in the first few seconds saw Blackpool convert. The game went goal for goal until Blackpool had a run of 5 goals from turnover in defence and patience in attack, this saw Blackpool take the lead 52-50 for the first time since the 1st quarter. With both teams scoring off their next centre the game was 53-51 with a couple of minutes to go. Bury scored off their centre pass and then managed to turn over Blackpool possession and convert. With Bury having the advantage of a centre pass and only a couple of seconds to spare the ball was lobbed into the Bury shooting circle but Holly’s tight defence meant they couldn’t convert finishing the game 53 all. Although we didn’t quite manage the victory, having trailled for the majority of the game the sharing of the points was probably more palatable for us!

Special thanks to Abby for organising the Hodgson venue as our normal home venue wasn’t available.

Player of the match (voted by YWCA Bury) – Rachel Towell

Coaches’ player – Rachel Towell

Umpire’s – Rachel Towell

Sunday 26th September 2015

Blackpool Netball Club Seniors v LSA

Game 1…Game on!

Pre-season training took on a new look for BNCs Open Age Regional Team in preparation for the 2015-16 season.  The challenge was set for players to take on greater responsibility, and so one of the most eclectic pre-seasons was put together including trampoline sessions, boxing circuits and even tug o’ war on Lytham Green.   To say we were fired up for our first game would be an understatement!

An 11 strong squad made the short trip down the M55 to local rivals LSA.  After an inspired team talk from Gabrielle Towell and Gill Walker, and an impressive warm up, the starting 7 were handed their bibs and it was time to see if the pre-season training had paid off.  GK Becca Ashworth, GD Vic Danson, WD Laura Betts, C Abby Pridmore, WA Rachel Towell, GA Tasha Scott, GS Rachael Bramall. Bench: Holly Landless, Katie Montgomery and Zoe Cunliffe.

Blackpool won the toss and started the game in possession, but LSA pulled off the first turnover within seconds.  Whilst it may have felt like panic stations on court, Blackpool applied the pressure and quickly re-gained the ball through Tasha Scott who went on to put Blackpool in front.  LSA quickly responded with some well-timed passing to set their GA up, but a rebound from Vic Danson meant that Blackpool were back in control, and soon 2-0 up.  Blackpool continued to dominate on court with Laura Betts, Becca Ashworth and Rachel Towell playing a part in the rebounds, interceptions and turnover across all thirds.  Blackpool looked a class act as the score crept up to 9-0. LSA scored their first goal almost 7 minutes into the game, a testament to Blackpool’s mentality of there being ‘7 defenders in a team’.  LSA gained momentum and Blackpool lost the focus that had been so evident for the first 7 minutes.  Poor decisions and unforced errors started to creep in, and whilst neither team were taking the ball straight to goal from their respective centres, the score line increased virtually goal for goal and the first quarter ended 15-5 to Blackpool. A quarter time team talk aimed to re-focus Blackpool, and players were reminded of this seasons mantra ‘consecutive not simultaneous’!  No changes were made, and the starting seven went back on court to try and build on the positives from the first 15 minutes.

The game picked up where it had left off with some scrappy passages of play.  Blackpool failed to capitalise on a number of turnovers, and movement through the court lacked the fluidity evident in the first 5 minutes.  Trying to keep the ball safe, Blackpool used the lateral and back option more than ever, at one point taking a massive 16 passes(in 41 seconds no less) from a defensive rebound to get to goal!  The LSA shooters got their eye in, with Blackpool’s circle defence having far fewer opportunities to go for rebounds.  Immediately that put pressure on Blackpool, who suddenly struggled to get out on centre passes as effectively.  More unforced errors gave LSA the opportunity to stay in a game they had been chasing for the first 15 minutes.  A brief spell towards the end of the quarter saw some impressive long feeds into the circle from Abby Pridmore and some inspired vision between the shooters, but a tough stand from the LSA defence meant that Blackpool were unable to push on a gear.  Having been down in the quarter, Blackpool managed to pull back to win it by 1 and the score line was 27-16 to Blackpool going in to half time.

After a disappointing second quarter, the Blackpool coaches looked to the experience and talent on the bench, and Holly Landless and Katie Montgomery both made their first appearance of the season.Typically, any changes on court should see a ‘bedding in’ period, but in true Blackpool fashion they struggled to adapt immediately.  The defence found themselves repeatedly penalised yet failed to make adjustments, and an impressive interception from Rachel Towell was not the kick start for the quarter that it should have been. Blackpool began to put greater pressure onto the LSA centre passes, and whilst they forced them to go back, they managed to penetrate through the court and get the ball to their increasingly accurate shooters.  Blackpool utilised possession to get to goal, and converted some turnover, but struggled to maintain this for long periods.  The 8th minute proved to be a turning point, with the LSA defence being held to account over some tight marking.  Tasha Scott bore the brunt of this, even ending up on the floor at one point.  LSA’s frustration grew, and consecutive interruption of their centre pass meant that Blackpool started to edge further in front.

Blackpool moved with greater purpose, centre passes from Katie Montgomery became more succinct and there was better impact defensively. Confidence built and Blackpool’s shooters continued to keep the score ticking over, with the third quarter ending 44 – 25 to Blackpool. The final quarter of the game brought Zoe Cunliffe into the shooting circle, and a new combination of circle defence in the form of Holly Landless moving to GD.  Both players had immediate impact, and the quarter started positively for Blackpool with Zoe scoring a trademark ‘long shot’ and Holly gaining possession from a tip off an LSA centre pass. The first 4 minutes saw Blackpool dominate in a similar way to the first quarter, with LSA failing to score.  Some neat pops into Rachael Bramall saw Blackpool increase their lead, and the girls maintained the quality from the previous quarter. The extra height in the Blackpool defensive circle put LSA under greater pressure, with the centre court players struggling to get the ball over the gadget style of arms of Becca Ashworth.  As Blackpool fired shots from all over, LSA struggled to convert and Blackpool continued to collect the rebounds.  Blackpool continued to link through the court well, and exploited errors made by LSA.  Even an imaginative post pass by the LSA GS was fruitless after a footwork call from the umpire.Sensing the end of the game was near, both teams were aware that LSA were just in touch of scoring half of Blackpool’s goals which would secure them a point.  Whilst the speed and intensity from all players increased, the execution sadly did not match.  Possession was quickly won and lost, but it was Blackpool who managed to convert to goal and the game ended with a victory for Blackpool of 62 – 30.

Blackpool could take a lot of positives from their first game, and on reflection the ‘team’ pre-season definitely transferred well to the court.  As ever, lots to reflect and build on, and where better to do that, than in the pub straight after the game!

Player of the match (voted for by LSA) – Tasha Scott.

Player’s player (voted for by BNC) – Rachel Towell.

Coach’s player – Tasha Scott.

Umpire’s Player of the match – Becca Ashworth.

 

Saturday 24th October 2015

Blackpool Netball Club Seniors v Oldham Netball Club

Losing felt like a Victory  

Apprehension and defeatist attitudes ran through the club in the days prior to this fixture. With Oldham’s first three results of the season showing them to be a class above and no match for anyone, we were worried about what we were up against. But on the day, we didn’t let this get us down, with a positive team talk from coach and captain, we were geared up for a fight.

As the game started, we gave it our all, goal to goal action as the two teams warmed up. The absence of Rachel Towell and her numerous spins during each centre pass meant the new starting attack needed to adapt and change the usual set up of the centres. Oldham held a strong wall, which took the attack a while to break down but eventually the calmness and patience of all the Blackpool players proved to come on top, with Katie Montgomery dominating the WA position. A brilliant and all round performance for both attack and defence, finishing the quarter 12-10 to Oldham – a score line we didn’t expect.

The closeness in the game gave the team the confidence to push on into the second quarter. There was no change to the Blackpool team, however a dip in performance to the end of the first quarter. Oldham had got back into the game, going on a run of 4 of 5 goals, meaning we had to refocus and change our game plan. Towards the end of the quarter, we rebuilt our game, but it was too late, they’d pulled away, the score line at half time being 27-16.

The third quarter started with numerous team changes. Nerves run through the team when so many changes are made, but we started this quarter as if it was a completely new game. The new shooting combination proved difficult for the Oldham defence to adapt to, especially with Zoe Cunliffe putting shots in from the edge of the circle, one after the other – not sure we expected that, nevermind them.  The half time team talk offered advice to the defence, which Laura Betts was more than happy to adhere to, she loves a good hustle. Vic Danson moved to the bench for this quarter, which was where the real drama started, taking it upon herself to scream and shout to help motivate the team. This was felt on court and it definitely pushed the team to pile the pressure on Oldham, causing a similar score line to 1st quarter (13-10) – we were back on form.

The fourth quarter kicked off as the third quarter had ended, with the team piling the pressure on and the bench giving their all making many ‘ooohs and ahhhs’ (among other comments, mainly screaming ‘tightttttttt’) whenever anyone went for an interception or some good passages of play were seen. With 6 minutes to go, the bench set the team a challenge, unbeknown to them, not to let 50 goals in – the score was 44-30 at this point. The bench got louder, the pressure on Oldham got greater and the stamina from the Blackpool players on court was amazing and we looked as though the ‘impossible’ challenge was actually achievable. As the final whistle was blown, the bench jumped with joy, the final score was 49-37. You’d have thought we’d just won a cup final. Oldham must have thought we were crazy, I’m sure they’ve never seen any team as excited about losing before.

As physical as the game was, I’m sure for some of us, it won’t be our bodies that are suffering tomorrow, but more our vocal chords. Well played girls, a great fight.