The University of East London’s Netball Third Team were knocked-out of the BUCS South Eastern Conference Bowl after a heavy 45-9 defeat against Queen Mary University of London’s Fifth Team.
The game was played on Big Blue Wednesday where most UEL Sport teams play at home (SportsDock) to celebrate UEL sporting achievements.
However there was less of a celebratory mood given the result and player Cerys Gravell suggested that, despite improving towards the latter moments of match, UEL had gifted possession to their opponents in the early stages.
On the Back-foot
“I think we started off quite scrappy, we were not really sticking to our players, but as the game went-on we learnt to work together more and hold the ball. We kind of grabbed the ball and chucked it straight away, where as we were taking more time to breathe and see where there were spaces towards the end and we were better at sticking to our players, better at the defending as the game went on,” Gravell said.
Due to the officials arriving later than anticipated, the match had a delayed start, but Queen Mary eventually got the game underway and almost immediately scored with their first attempt at the net, which set the tone for the afternoon.
The first-quarter did not go well for UEL as Queen Mary initially opened up a 10-point lead before two quick points from Kimberley Lawrence reduced the deficit, although it was not enough as the first-quarter ended 3-15.
Queen Mary continued to gain momentum in the second-quarter with some very quick plays and clever movements off the ball.
Maria Shipahu came on for the second-quarter, but could not repeat her same scoring heroics from the previous week and by half-time Queen Mary were leading 26-4.
UEL started to improve in the third-quarter with their attacking intent, but spurned crucial opportunities in front of the net allowing the visitors to counter attack and put the game well beyond UEL’s reach.
The final-quarter saw less points being scored, but UEL were defending a lot better and started to create more opportunities for themselves. However, it just was not UEL’s day and Queen Mary continued to be ruthless in front of the net, winning the match 45-9.
Change of Focus
Bowing out of the competition gives UEL an opportunity to focus on the league, something Gravell hopes will help them improve, “We have been doing well in the league so far, so we will keep on with that one. The more we play together, the more we will gel, the more we will get to know how each other play and work on tactics and to make sure we do not lose the ball as much,” she said.
UEL host The School of Oriental and African Studies Second Team, (who currently sit third in the league behind the Blues on point-difference), next on November 15th and asked how the team can get back to winning ways, Gravell said, “Just looking at what our downfalls were in this game and working on those in training. Just better communication between the team, communicating with each other, getting in to space and holding the ball better.”