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Two Guernsey wins but Blaze beaten

Sport | Published:

BLAZE carried high spirits into last weekend’s Upton clash in Jersey only to suffer an extinguishing 76-36 loss against Convent A.

The Investec Zebras One netball team who won the Division Two Upton against St Clements B 68-37. Back row, left to right: GD Kyna Walsh, WD Annie Lavenne, GK Natalie Carre (captain), GS Vicky Ogden, GA Emma Mills. Front: Victoria Yabsley, Kirsty Bourgaize, WA Lauren Smeed, C Jo Jehan. (24359812)

Two prior victories in the lower divisions had provided much joy for the Guernsey visitors, but Jersey’s elite Convent side prevented the hat-trick when the Division One teams met on court.

Blaze had scraped through qualifying earlier last week, settling a season-long ‘Prem’ rivalry with a 55-53 win over Resolution IT A, but captain Nena Copperwaite was somewhat less upbeat about Sunday’s game and termed it their ‘worst performance of the season’.

In their credit, the eventual scoreline gave a far less biased picture than that of the early stages, for the string of Jets stars coached by Linda Andrews quickly went 10 up without retaliation.

The Caesareans simply made almost no mistakes, from the interceptions in defence to the almost faultless shooting. The latter would eventually net them an astounding shooting percentage of 97.4% – just two misses from 78.

A shell-shocked Blaze trailed 23-5 at the quarter and despite ironing out some of their earlier errors upon resumption, the side still lagged considerably to enter half-time at 42-16.

In a dramatic few minutes, the Sarnians soon bit into the deficit as Abbie Greening put in a noteworthy performance at goal-attack, supported by centre Copperwaite and wing-defence Holly Cutter.

But Convent soon rallied back and led 59-26 heading into the final quarter, where they stamped back their dominance and extended their lead.

Captain Copperwaite nevertheless managed to pick a few positives from the struggle.

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‘We had fun and just enjoyed the match,’ she said.

‘Considering we were down 23-5 after the first quarter due to our inability to even catch, we did pretty well to pick it up a bit midway through the second quarter.

‘It’s a real shame we started so poorly as although we wouldn’t have won, they wouldn’t have pulled away by quite so many. We’ve still come away from the weekend as the best club side in Guernsey so we’re taking the positives.’

She also paid tribute to two positive and enjoyable tune-up games, where Investec Zebras won the Division Two tie 68-37 over St Clement B and Titans C beat St Ouen A 47-44 in Division Three.

‘Looking on from a Guernsey perspective, outside of Convent, I’m happy to say that Guernsey Netball appears to have a lot stronger competition throughout their leagues,’ added Copperwaite.

‘Hopefully this will be something that will start paying dividends in the next few years.’

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