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Match Report - Team Lightning 09.12.2018

It was like a rendition of the Commonwealth Cup Final for Team Lightning, when they took on local rivals Carol Anne Diamonds in last fixture before the Christmas break. A neck and neck, adrenaline filled derby, in which spectators watching were treated to an intense and thrilling game. The team: Emily Risdon (GS), Grace Wilton (GA), Clare Wilmott (WA/C), Becka Manley (C/WA), Michelle Sampson (WD), Poppy Sampson (WD/GD/GK), Jo Nancekivell (WD), Beth Nancekivell (GD/C) & Amber Manley (GK) were psyched up from the start and urging to win. With plenty of combinations as options, the team took the initial lead in the first quarter, with fine long range shooting stats from Emily (8 out of 10) and Grace (7 out of 8). As they entered the 2nd quarter, Diamonds came back strong and errors and lost a number of goals, taking the lead to only 4 goals at half time (25-21). Captain Michelle Sampson saw the need to mix things up and tried a different combination for the 3rd quarter. Play progressed but was fast and furious, and to the wire throughout this quarter. The game was anyone's for the taking. End of the 3rd quarter, the score saw Lightning in the lead by a single goal, 33-32. The final quarter was goal to goal action, with the win still for anyone's taking. Diamonds defence made getting the ball into our shooters incredibly difficult. Centre court players worked tirelessly bringing the ball down and playing safe was the only option, something that has historically challenged Titans players. With a couple minutes to go, the scoreline was a draw and both teams capitalised in their centre passes. With the clock ticking, an interception was needed by either team to break the scoreline. Both teams were slick in their play, but an all important interception came through Beth Nancekivell, and we were able to get with a 2 goal clearance. With our centre pass, and only needing to keep possession, we unfortunately made an error on our way to goal, and in the blink of an eye, Diamonds had came back to level the scoreline again. Back on centre passes, Titans had 20 seconds left on the clock, with our centre pass. An obstruction call just inside our attacking third was called, and we could see the clock running down. The ball came to the edge of the circle, and advantage was played on an obstruction call on Becka Manley. Coach Lorraine Beel was screaming to the team to put up the shot, and out of no where, Grace Wilton managed to receive a pass under the goal post. It was like the rendition of the Commonwealth Gold Final match,  all the pressure amounted on the young shoulders of Grace, as a split second before the hooter went, the umpire penalised the defence for obstruction, but Grace's shot sunk into the net after the final hooter went, but the goal was allowed for the obstruction decision.  A jubilant moment had by all for the team and the mountain of Titans spectators. Certainly a thriller of a match for everyone to witness, as both teams played their socks off. Final result 48-47 to Titans. Player of the match went to Beth Nancekivell from the opposition, and Grace Wilton from Titans.

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