The women’s firsts for netball proved to be a crucial area for Bangor’s varsity hopes. Having brought a three point deficit and making early losses, the tide was pushing in Bangor’s favour, and a victory here would see that continue. Coming into the game off the back of a comprehensive win over Edge Hill seconds, Bangor were fired up and more than ready to take on the Aber team. However, a loss by Bangor women’s seconds in the match beforehand had shown the difference in class was minimal, if not non-existent.
As the first quarter got underway, the tension was palpable as both sets of fans cheered out for their respective teams. As the quarter unfolded, both teams began to settle into their natural game. However, this did leave the first half very open with end to end play and a multitude of goals coming as an effect. With the closing of the quarter seeing the goals at nine apiece, the real game was about to break out as the players cast off their pre-game tensions. The five minute interlude allowed for the players to collect their thoughts and come out strong for the second quarter.
The second quarter showed both sides step up their game and with the home support, Aber were fired up and pressed Bangor into making a lot of errors and fouls. Despite this, Bangor remained resilient, making some impressive moves around the court keeping Aber at bay. With the score line at twenty points to eighteen in favour of Aber, Bangor were going to have to dig deep to overcome a strong Aber side in the third quarter.
The third quarter seemed to be the battle of the defences of both teams, with the lowest scoring quarter of the match. Aber looked to shut out Bangor and keep a greater lead over them. Bangor seemed to have other plans, playing out strong from the back and using fast plays in order to counter Aber swiftly and make them pay for pushing up too far. A Bangor lead of twenty eight to twenty five goals backed up the amazing play utilised by Bangor. An intense final quarter was at hand to decide the victors of this titanic clash.
As the fourth and final quarter was started, it was clear to see that the aim of the game was similar to that of the first; score more goals than the opposition. With the signs of tiredness becoming apparent, both sets of players started making silly mistakes and the game fell onto those who could dig deeper than the others. Aber pressed hard on Bangor, with Bangor putting in a fine defensive play. As the final whistle went everyone turned to the scoreboard, eager to see their team crowned victors of the game. Cheers went up as the score was thirty nine to thirty two to Bangor.
As the teams commiserated each other and congratulated each other on the game, the Bangor captain commented that it was a ‘hard battle, but, it came down to the second half where they proved to be stronger than Aber’. The Aber captain praised the game as it was ‘a lot cleaner than last year’ and went on to give individual praise the Bangor’s GA, Kathryn Hughes, before summarising that it was a ‘good rivalry, made better by the game being cleaner than prior games.’