Shiplake College’s netball team recently entertained Cokethorpe School eager to get back on court after a string of fixture cancellations. With a strong squad of 11 players to choose from, Shiplake entered the game in confident mood.
Shiplake made a strong start as every player on the team demonstrated fantastic work rate and discipline to keep to their position. With the added bonus of having four capable replacements on the sidelines, each player knew they could give their all on court and have a rest if necessary. Thanks in no small part to exceptional defence from Stacie Kozhemyakina, Lucy Collings and Emily Holloway, Cokethorpe only managed one goal compared to Shiplake’s seven in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw multiple substitutions to allow all the girls to enjoy their fair share of game time. A resurgent Cokethorpe came back fighting, showing admirable determination to level the scores after a period of concerted pressure. Consecutive attacks broke through the strong Shiplake defence to bring their total to 7. Riled by the turnaround, Shiplake’s play soon became messy and panicked and they were grateful to get to half time with an 8-7 lead.
After a thorough half time team talk, Shiplake excelled in the last two quarters. Kozjemyakima and Kate Kononenko both played a quarter at Goal Keeper and defended resolutely making several crucial blocks and interceptions. Annabel Seward, Holloway and Collings worked relentlessly to regain possession of the ball, which was worked cleanly up the court by Centre Libby Harman, Wing Attack Hannah Cartwright and Goal Attack Sophie Arnold. Shiplake were able to consistently provide good ball for the alternating Meg Barron-Cutts and Chloe Goodman in the shooting circle. Sophie, Meg and Chloe were all prolific, netting multiple goals to secure a 19-13 victory for Shiplake.