Resolution IT Green’s 52-43 victory over T&T Purple proved absolutely no exception, even if the reigning champions won surprisingly convincingly to address their recent one-goal loss to the other major contenders, Blaze A.
Those seeking to-the-wire action on Tuesday night were even better served by Rezzers Black’s 53-50 triumph over T&T Blue or better still, Liberte NGT A inching familiar rivals Blaze B 51-49.
This standard of competition compelled Clare Henry to say the league is ‘definitely the most competitive it’s ever been’ after firing Rezzers Green clear at Les Beaucamps.
GS Henry had assumed Green’s captaincy from leading centre Tiff Gervaise-Brazier, who was absent due to isolation requirements, and passed her bib to Becky Chamberlain.
Chamberlain handled the role nicely, but T&T’s own star centre and eventual player-of-the-match, Charlotte Hill, impressed from the first centre pass with a string of fine interceptions that helped forge an early lead.
Rezzers’ own defending soon shone through, with WD Cassie Le Page building towards her own player-of-the-match nomination by complementing GD Gemma Batiste and GK Abby McCracken.
Meanwhile, even if Henry and GA Verona Tomlin missed shots for Rezzers, their rapport created several offensive rebounds and ensured a quarter lead of 10-8.
T&T converted swiftly upon resumption and they were soon goal-for-goal as GS and captain Donna Brehaut sunk some great shots in conjunction with GA Steph Batiste.
But this soon evolved into trading scoring runs and T&T’s failure to adequately address one such break meant Rezzers, shooting sharply, led 25-19 at half-time.
T&T, attacking with speed and guile and forcing turnovers through court, made quarter three a dead heat at 13 goals apiece.
There was no writing off this new T&T team – Titans by everything but official name and certain personnel – heading into the final stanza. This is where Rezzers had folded to both Titans in February and to Blaze two weeks ago.
A mid-quarter barrage of Rezzers goals killed the contest, though, and WA Anna Trump made Henry’s vote of thanks after stepping up from the Blacks.
‘We are all really chuffed,’ Henry said.
‘Defensively, we were really good, and I think it could have gone either way, but we were clinical when we needed to be.
‘Gemma and Abby were great... Anna stepped in and did a really good job in attack – brought the ball down really well – and Verona was great shooting.
‘It was not our best, but we made turnovers when we needed to and the scoreline gradually came apart.
‘It’s definitely the most competitive it’s ever been, but I think it’s good having the [top-three] matches close together.’
Brehaut had little room to be downhearted ahead of facing Blaze next week.
Ahead of that, she praised the individual performance of Hill, plus GD Nat Cavanagh and GK Anais Flatres.
‘We can take away lots of positives – I think our second quarter, unfortunately, was the difference,’ she said.
‘Our defence was particularly strong and I think we need to work on a few things coming through our centre-court into our circle.
‘We need to have more composure when we do make those turnovers.
‘Obviously, Resolution are a really strong team and we’re building a new team this season, so for our first performance against the top three, overall we were pleased.’
Rezzers soon made it a Beaucamps double by winning the equivalent B team head-to-head in a match of two halves.
Young GS Charlotte Howat starred as the Blacks shot to a 16-5 quarter lead over T&T Blue, previously Thunder, and they also edged the second.
T&T’s sterling comeback in quarter three slashed the deficit to five, and C Hayley Brehaut took their player-of-the-match after a solid but not quite sufficient finish.
Liberte and Blaze B were never more than a few goals apart in a Grammar School showdown reminiscent of their Division One days, when the former side played as Zebras.
Liberte were marginally clear at half-time, 27-26, and led their teenage rivals across the finish line, with GD Viv Kemgne and C Emily Mourant the respective player-of-the-match recipients.