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Round 1 Match Report - Rangers v Peel Lightning

10th March 2023

League Match Report by Di Bunten

The excitement of the season opener was apparent as the Open’s team, captained by Kate Bunten with Vice Captains Georgia Pitt and Ellie Smart, lead their team onto court for the first time in 2023.

It took a while for Rangers to settle into their shooting rhythm, with Peel getting away to an early lead. Chelsea put her body on the line with an amazing leap on circle edge and Kate made a defensive intercept and Rangers evened up the score. Quick feeding by Dani in her Opens’ debut, followed by another impressive intercept by Kate and a trademark long shot by Georgia, saw Rangers take the lead back. Abbey was a strong presence in the circle in her first game with Rangers, and her defensive work proved invaluable, combining with fierce mid-court pressure to create headaches for Peel and a 2 goal lead to Rangers at quarter time (12:14).

The second quarter started with an early turnover, but the ball was won back with a tip on the circle edge followed by defensive pressure from Grace and Heidi, and Rangers got the first goal. Persistence from the shooters won the ball back after a couple of missed shots and Rangers whole court defence kept the flow of ball coming to the shooters. Kate continued to be a pest in WD, disrupting the Peel attack end, and Courtney took court to combine well with Morgan with some nice feeds into the circle. Rangers built their lead to 20:28 at half time.

The coach continued to ring the changes in the third quarter, with Chelsea back in centre and Kat in at GA and Bek brought in during the quarter for her Opens’ debut. Heidi’s early intercept was converted by Georgia and some accurate passing from Kat set Rangers up for a nice start. Some dropped balls and missed opportunities gave Peel a run and they closed the gap to 8. Tight defence and a centre pass intercept by Kate helped steady the Rangers’ ship and they finished the quarter 31:42.

Rangers added height to the defensive end when Ellie was moved from her usual shooting role into GK. Rangers had a strong start capitalising on early Peel turnovers, although the long arms of Peel’s GK did not make it easy for Georgia and Abbey. Abbey continued to offer strongly and shoot well. Morgan and Kate combined to create an intercept that started a seesawing period of play where both teams battled it out without scoring. This was finally broken by Peel who brought the margin back to 9 and then 8. Sensing they were in with a chance Peel piled on the pressure, but desperate sideline defensive work by Morgan and floor-based ball scooping by Kate helped Rangers pull away again. Bek and Ellie worked hard in the circle, winning some crucial gets under the post. Rangers drive out of defence was impressive and in the last few minutes with sharp shooting from Georgia and Abbey, the lead grew to 13. With an impressive all court effort from both experienced and new players, Rangers got their first win of the season 39:52.

20U Match Report by Grace Hepworth

Round 1 the 20’s played Peel. Coming out to a strong start, it was goal for goal for the first two quarters. In the 3rd and 4th we started to pull away, gaining momentum and turning over lots of ball! Special mention to Sophie Hunt for her amazing defensive effort; picking off intercepts left, right and centre! The 20’s displayed hustle and heart from the ‘get go’ and left everything out there on court! Congrats to Tiala Slatter and Alix McWha for their debuts!

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