NETBALL: It’s a scramble for points out on the courts, MICHAEL ALHADEFF brings you all the latest.

Newnham have taken a step closer to claiming the league title with a vital win over Downing. As the term reaches its climax, fixtures are coming thick and fast as teams scramble desperately for points.

Newnham 13-11 Downing

Fresh off the back of their Cuppers triumph, Newnham maintained their prime position in the league. It was not without a fight though as Downing displayed all the qualities of a top Division side. As expected, resources have become depleted as term gradually draws to a close which resulted in a mixed match. The first quarter started with several turnovers from the centres which were initially seized upon by the Downing attack. Indeed, for most of the match, Downing found themelves in the ascendency – it was a tribute to their all-round game. Trusty goal shooters Fran Thornton and Call Harris again applied the pressure on the opposite as they found the net ease. At the back, Downing were forced into a makeshift defence, but that didn’t stop Abi Calver and Celia Harrison dominating. On several occasions, Newnham’s ball was passed multiple times about the circle with the numerous tip-offs Harrison was giving. It looked like Downing had a stranglehold on the game as they maintained their advantage until the final quarter. However, Newnham demonstrated what they are made off by coming back in the final ten minutes to steal the victory.

Queens’ 13-10 John’s

Queens’ 18-6 Catz

Queens’ have been at the centre of the fixture congestion caused by last month’s wintry conditions. However, a double-header didn’t stop them from claiming two victories and cementing their place in Division One. In a mid-table clash, Queens’ were able to get the better of John’s by claiming a narrow victory. The win was all the more impressive as Queens’ arrived with only six players, but immediately decided to go on the attack. However, for all their pressure, they were left frustrated by some aggressive defending from Johns.

During the second quarter John’s made the numerical advantage pay as the arrival of an additional player meant they had their full complement. By the final quarter the scores were level, but Queens’ came out guns blazing to clinch the match.

In their other match, a Queens’ victory all but confirmed Catz’s relegation from Division One. Queens’ movement down the courts was slick and the shooting sharp. An energetic Catz side tended to clump together, leaving Queens’ to dominate the space. Catz will hope to have learned some lessons as they continue to yo-yo between divisions. To help this, they are hoping for swift promotion.

Murray Edwards  vs Jesus – conceded to Murray Edwards

Jesus continued their shaky league campaign by having to concede the match due to lack of players. Last term’s league champions have struggled to recapture the form that propelled them to the top. Meanwhile, Murray Edwards continue to push hard and will hope the upcoming fixtures this week will allow them to put pressure on the top.

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