Henley Hawks Play Thunderbirds 7 in Their Division Penultimate Game

Henley Hawks faced played Thunderbirds 7 in a match filled with intensity and strategic skill. Both teams showcased their talents and determination. From the outset, Thunderbirds asserted their dominance, swiftly establishing an early lead of 11-7 in the first quarter. Their attacking expertise was evident as they manoeuvred skilfully around the court, capitalising on scoring opportunities with precision.

Judy Goforth and Sarah Filby were pivotal in Henley Hawks’ defensive efforts. Goforth, with her sharp anticipation and solid positioning, disrupted Thunderbirds’ attacking flow on numerous occasions. Filby complemented this with her tenacious marking and intercepting ability, making it challenging for the Thunderbirds to execute their plays smoothly. Their combined defensive strength provided Henley Hawks with crucial turnovers and highlighted their defensive expertise.

Henley Hawks, however, refused to succumb to the pressure and swiftly adapted their tactics. In the second quarter, the introduction of Emma Robinson as WA injected a new dimension into Hawks’ attacking line-up GS Alex Jacob and GA Katie Bayfield worked tirelessly to keep Henley Hawks in contention. Jacob’s shooting accuracy was crucial in converting opportunities into points, while Bayfield’s agility and sharp movement created openings, keeping the Thunderbirds’ defenders on their toes. Their collaboration in the circle was a testament to their chemistry and understanding, contributing significantly to the team’s overall performance. Despite their efforts, Thunderbirds continued to exert control, extending their lead to 28-14 by half-time.

As the game progressed into the third quarter, Henley Hawks made strategic adjustments to their line-up in a bid to turn the tide. Judy Goforth’s transition to GD and Totie Thomas’s return as WA aimed to strengthen their defensive resilience and attacking options, respectively. Yet, Thunderbirds remained relentless, showcasing their versatility and adaptability on both ends of the court, further widening the gap to 42-23.

Entering the final quarter, Henley Hawks threw everything into their last-ditch effort to stage a comeback. Lydia Johnston’s return to GD and Totie Thomas’s shift to GA aimed to maximise their scoring potential. GK Chanti Stubbs and GD Lydia Johnston were integral to the Hawks’ defence, forming a formidable duo in the defensive circle. Stubbs’ commanding presence and shot-blocking ability provided a strong last line of defence, while Johnston’s agility and intercepting skills disrupted the Thunderbirds’ attacking plays. Their synergy and communication were evident throughout the match, as they consistently applied pressure and created turnovers, showcasing their defensive expertise. However, Thunderbirds maintained their composure, stopping any attempts at a late surge from the Hawks.

Ultimately, Thunderbirds emerged triumphant with a final score of 51-35, reaffirming their position as a formidable force in the league. Despite the defeat, Henley Hawks displayed commendable resilience and determination throughout the match.

Among the standout performers for Henley Hawks was Totie Thomas, whose exceptional display of skill and determination earned her the accolade of Player of the Match. Thomas’s agility and versatility were instrumental for the Hawks.

In conclusion, the match was a testament to the competitive spirit and talent within the RDNL Div 1 league. Both teams showcased their abilities and fought valiantly until the final whistle.

Thank you to kit sponsor Hart Street Tavern and Tara Neil Kitchens.

From left to right – Katie Bayfield – Judy Goforth – Totie Thomas – Chanti Stubbs – Alex Jacob – Emma Robinson – Lydia Johnston – Sarah Filby

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