NETBALL: MICHAEL ALHADEFF sees Murray Edwards and Newnham set the early pace in the netball league
The temptation to break out of Cambridge meant empty spaces on the netball court last week. Murray Edwards and Newnham were the biggest winners in week 2 as they were able to sustain their good start to the season. They were also able to take an advantage as league champions Jesus’ were forced to concede their match. It has already given the chasing pack a sniff of glory.
Murray Edwards 27-Downing 12
The Muz girls took the opportunity to display their title credentials, producing a confident display against Downing. Unlike many of the other teams, Muz had the luxury of a full squad to pick from. Their attack in particular was on shooting form allowing the girls to build a strong lead. The signs look good for Murray Edwards this term with some real strength in depth in their team typified by a strong debut by Lucy McMahon. In fairness, Downing were one of the sides who struggled to produce a full team as many had decided to make the bid to escape the country rather than stay on Cambridge’s courts. They started positively, however, with Emma Potter offering some stern resistance. Unfortunantly, their lack of options were further compounded by an Abi Calver’s injury which resulted in another reshuffle.
Queens’ 12 – Newnham 13
Queens’-Newnham provided the most competitive fixture of the weekend, both teams showing they are ready for the long haul. Newnham were just able to edge past the Greens in a hard-fought and fast-paced match. In such conditions, Newnham were able to take the important upper hand early on as a slow start from Queens’ meant they’re able to build a three goal lead in the first quarter. Queens’ though did fight back – good defensive pressure and determined attack meant they were able to draw level. But some excellent Newnham shooting meant they were just able to keep their noses in front.
Emma 14-5 Catz
Emma took the spoils home as the two newcomers faced each other in Division one for the first time. Again, Emma were able to take advantage of more Jailbreak hopefuls as Catz could only turn out three of their regulars resulting in a lot of changes on court. It meant Emma could avenge their narrow defeat last term when both teams were chasing for promotion. Victory was built around defensive work with their GK Anna Nicholas showing some excellent form after returning from injury. Emma will thus be satisfied with their first victory in Division One as avoiding the drop will be a priority.
Photographs by Sarah Sheldon