On Wednesday, CULNC’s Blues/Jays had their first match, and first win, of the season against local netball club and regional team CoJags. Although technically a friendly preseason match, CULNC were keen to return to competitive play, not only after the long summer break, but also after last year’s disrupted and match-less season. The unconventional 8 x 10-minute format of the match provided an excellent opportunity to try out new combinations of players, brush up on skills, and improve match fitness.
CULNC were ahead of CoJags for much of the match. After only a two-week preseason, CULNC were able to both delay CoJags’ play and move the ball down the court effectively. Even so, the match was extremely tight, with only a few goals ever separating CULNC and CoJags. Frequent tips and turnovers, in all areas of the court, made for a very exciting game. In the penultimate eighth, CULNC dropped behind CoJags by two goals, as CoJags turned over several of CULNC’s centre passes in succession. The last ten minutes of the match were therefore a test of CULNC’s play under pressure. The final score of 52-50 reflected CULNC’s eagerness to return to competitive play, as well as progress during the match, as players applied skills learnt in training and advice from the coaches.