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With Hustle And Heart

Match Report Rangers vs Sharks 4th April 2023

Strong drives in attack and tight defence from Ash saw Rangers get off to a great start against a Sharks team featuring Fever’s Emma Cosh. Down by 3, Sharks were put under lots of pressure by a fierce Rangers outfit, but squeezed out a couple of goals before Ellie sank the 4th for Rangers. Whole court effort and a strong rebound from Ellie saw Rangers build another 3 goal lead. The game settled into a goal for goal tussle at an incredible pace for a few centre passes. Chelsea and Kate linked well creating smooth transitions down court and delivery to the shooters. In an amazing shoot out Georgia sank a goal from circle edge, echoed moments later by Cosh at the other end. A held ball gave Sharks the ball, but Ash won it back and Georgia scored. Fast footwork from the shooters created space for the feeders with Chelsea threading a beautiful pass to Ellie. Rangers kept up the pressure and the goal for goal arm wrestle showcased an incredible display of netball resulting in a 17:15 lead at quarter time.

The coach made a couple of changes at the start of the second with Abbey in at GA and Heidi at GD. Sharks remained unchanged. Early defensive pressure gave Rangers the first goal but Sharks reciprocated and took the next one. Kate’s drives carved a path through Sharks defence and the shooters rewarded her efforts. Hard work in the circle created another opportunity for Rangers, but Sharks won it back. Chelsea drove hard and a 3 person defensive block on a Sharks’ centre pass gained Rangers a turnover. The Sharks kept coming though, capitalising on a few lapses in focus, and they pulled ahead. With Morgan now on at WD and Kat at WA, Rangers worked hard but an unfortunate delay in the setting of a penalty meant a last second goal didn’t count and Sharks went into the main break 3 up - 30:33.

The 3rd saw Morgan moved to centre and Kate to WD. A centre pass turnover gave Sharks an early break. Heidi worked to win the ball back, but Rangers sometimes struggled to find a clean path to the circle and Sharks extended their lead with smooth ball movement to Rose and Larissa who slotted goals with ease despite the best efforts of Heidi and Ellie. Chelsea took over at centre and created a defensive turnover to help Rangers pull a goal back. With fiercely contested attacking play, both teams fought for every ball and the margin returned to 3 when the whistle blew. 47:50

Nice feeding by Kat which Abbey translated into a goal to start the 4th. A beautiful grab by Chelsea in the circle edge unfortunately didn’t end with a goal, but Rangers kept Sharks under pressure and forced a turnover in centre court. Georgia’s miraculous hand plucked a ball out of the air to get Rangers closer. Rangers played with hustle and heart fighting for every ball. Dani replaced Kat at WA and Rangers had a couple of chances to level the score but struggled to deliver into the circle cleanly. Grace was brought on in GD but despite heroic efforts across the defensive end, Rangers couldn’t find enough rhythm in attack to narrow the lead. Eventually, a great intercept by Kate was converted and Rangers were back in it with 4 goals in it and 2 minutes to go. Rangers kept hustling and pulled it back to 2. The umpires stepped in when Sharks played for time, but the whistle beat Rangers’ efforts to steal the win and Sharks ended with a 61:63 victory. A fiercely fought battle for four quarters – the real winner was netball.

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