Fast start sets up T&T Blue victory

A DUEL between two Premier Division ‘newcomers’ and Plate challengers went clearly in one direction on Tuesday night.

T&T Blue C Hayley Brehaut sends a pass towards WA Claire Jennings with Liberte C Jo Jehan unable to block it. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28921978)
T&T Blue C Hayley Brehaut sends a pass towards WA Claire Jennings with Liberte C Jo Jehan unable to block it. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28921978)

T&T Blue have previously shown their worth in the top flight under the Thunder banner, winning the bottom-four Plate prize last year, only to suffer some tough draws in the early stages of the new campaign.

And so they squared off against Liberte NGT A – a product of last year’s Zebras One – at the Grammar School in an early test where both sides entered seeking their second win of the season.

The impressive Blues passed with flying colours to back up last week’s success over Blaze B with a 54-28 win and continue their upturn of results in the bottom half of the table.

The otherwise youthful Titans-Thunder merger are profiting from an experienced centre-court, including Carrie Bacon, Hayley Brehaut and Claire Jennings, and an injury blow to Liberte’s high-calibre shooters helped their case on this occasion.

Holding GS Natalie Carre is on the mend but had to go without first-choice partner Em Mills, leaving Chloe Truffitt to adopt the GA position, where she performed admirably to take player-of-the-match.

But with opposition ‘POM’ Sophie Cowley shining at GD as part of T&T’s superb performance in both circles, it was a losing battle for Liberte.

T&T blasted clear quickly and were leading 16-6 at quarter-time, the sharp-shooting GA Grace Phillips and GS Kate Le Maitre enjoying a particularly fruitful spell and capitalising on some clean ball movement through the court.

They continued to excel throughout and their rangy young defenders, Cowley alongside GK Lily Simmons, forced the Liberte attack into taking adaptive measures.

T&T’s sizeable 31-11 lead at half-time left Liberte with a real mountain to climb.

To their credit, Liberte showed some improvement in a third quarter that ended 41-17 and thereafter, allowing T&T to only expand the goal difference by two in the final stanza.

But T&T were soaring way out of reach and their improved form has impressed the experienced Donna Brehaut, who umpired the match and captains their A team, Purple.

‘They are beginning to gel as a team and they are a quite different unit,’ Brehaut said.

‘A couple of Titans players have been merged into the core Thunder team and Kate Le Maitre’s also coming back... they are certainly leaning on the mid-table.

‘I would definitely think they will be competing for the Plate, and they are getting into some consistent form, which is great.’

Liberte captain Carre felt that T&T deserved the win and admitted that her side have suffered a slow start to the season.

‘As we move forward with the season, we hope that we will start settling and play our own game of netball.’

At Les Beaucamps, Resolution IT made a dazzling start to their club double-header against Blaze.

Defending champions Rezzers Green produced a dominant scoring display against the young Blaze B with the highest goal count of the developing ‘Prem’ season, winning 79-31.

Netting 24 goals apiece in the second and third quarters set the Greens up for that impressive total.

Yet it was their WD, Cassie Le Page, that clinched ‘POM’ as they nominated Blaze GA Georgia Gray for the opposition honours.

The Greens’ win allowed them to wrest the league’s pole position for just over an hour, until Blaze A rekindled their lead with a 46-29 win over Rezzers Black just afterwards.

Blaze faced some sturdy resistance initially and led by just two goals – 17-15 – at half-time.

But Blaze WD Hannah Blondel earned ‘POM’ after her team hit their stride, with GA Keeleigh Le Tissier deemed the star Rezzers player.

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