November has been a testing month for Donna Brehaut’s side, who were coming off successive losses to rival ‘big three’ teams Resolution IT Green and Blaze, their main frustration being how quickly they let the latter fire themselves clear two weeks ago.
And so the former Titans did not hesitate to stamp their dominance against mid-table Resolution IT Black, for whom an upset was an unlikely but not unprecedented possibility.
An early nine-goal scoring run set T&T up nicely in what was otherwise a deceptively well contested and cordial affair at Les Beaucamps, with four competitors sharing out player-of-the-match honours.
The resulting 57-36 victory gave T&T vice-captain Steph Batiste something extra to celebrate on her birthday.
Starting GA Batiste had once again joined GS Brehaut in a deadly rotating shooting combination who, after breaking even with their rivals initially, blasted to a 12-3 advantage well inside the first 15-minute quarter.
But it was far from a two-player effort.
Great interplay also involving C Charlotte Hill and WA Lydia McClean bolstered their proven attack, while they remained indebted to in-form WD Nat Cavanagh and her numerous turnovers.
Starting GS Keeleigh Le Tissier returned the Blacks to the scoresheet with one of her many fine goals, and come the interval, T&T led 15-5.
Rezzers’ earlier lapse seemed the exception rather than the rule and they fought strongly from resumption, young C Savannah Goddard, WD sub Liz Mills and GK Lois Batiste producing noteworthy performances.
A late T&T flourish saw them reach half-time 28-15 up, adding to their cushion.
Resolution then lived up to their name in winning the third quarter. A slow start, where time-out had to be called after the ball tauntingly rolled outside, evolved into a battling performance from the side, Le Tissier getting on a roll with her shooting at GA and solid defending limiting T&T’s retaliation.
The Blacks scored 11 in that quarter, the Purples only 10.
Yet another purple patch in the final stanza allowed T&T to close the game off with flair.
They netted 19 goals in that fruitful period, displaying impressive speed in attack, and the less-utilised McClean earned plaudits from Brehaut for her role there.
However, Brehaut and Cavanagh were the official joint ‘POM’s as the former reflected on a game plan well executed.
‘We wanted to come out the blocks quick and build on what we didn’t do right in that [Blaze] game,’ she said in reference to their earlier 42-56 loss.
‘We were really consistent as we played the ball through court really well, driving onto the balls, and I thought we were really sharp.
‘We played some good triangles and we played a rotating circle and I think that put their defence under a lot of pressure.
‘Also, we finished really strongly, so it was good not only to start well, but to close the game out.’
Goddard and Le Tissier shared ‘POM’ recognition for a Rezzers side that, incidentally, played Blaze last week.
Lois Batiste had left feeling encouraged after holding Blaze to two goals at half-time before losing by 17, and following another solid performance against a ‘big three’ team, was justified in billing her Blacks ‘best of the rest’.
‘Overall, we played really well – kept in there, kept plugging away, perhaps did not convert all the opportunities and turnovers we had and we missed a few,’ she said.
‘I think we all had spells individually but we just did not perhaps link it all together at the same time.’
Defending champions Rezzers Green received five effort-free points from the injury-stricken Liberte’s inability to field a side, while Blaze did not stutter against their own B team at Grammar School, winning 60-42.