NETBALL: Raychem's second wind
SOME half-time tinkering turned the tide as Raychem B finally swept aside Park B in Division Two.
Park had led 22-21 at the mid-point of the game, but capitulated after both sides made changes at the interval, with Raychem ultimately running out comfortable winners, 45-29.
Second-from-bottom Park began the contest as underdogs but matched their high-flying rivals goal-for-goal early on, taking a 11-10 advantage after a disjointed first quarter blighted by inconsistent shooting.
Young Raychem goal attack Sarah Angel began to dominate in the shooting circle in the second period, driving in and demonstrating good footwork and clinical finishing.
Her efforts were matched by Park GA Karen Griesel, a player usually more accustomed to defensive duties, switched to the other end of the court with productive results to keep Park a single goal ahead at half-time.
Then both teams made changes, with mixed results.
Raychem moved Zoe Hawkins to wing attack and tall Sam Udun to goal keeper and they duly adapted, with centre Lisa Kitchen taking control through the central channel of the court, and timing her drives to feed the circle accurately as the favourites powered into a 34-26 lead going into the final quarter.
Park introduced Hayley Sharkey at goal defence to stem the tide and she made several interceptions but Raychem continued to dominate play, breaking down Park’s attacks as they appeared to tire.
The experience of Caz Tattam was also evident as she piled on the points to seal a 16-goal victory and keep Raychem in touch with the leaders.
Moredon B remain at the summit after a 54-25 win over Delta Reds B.
Meanwhile, Abbey Meads A can get the champagne ready after a predictably convincing 60-22 win over rock-bottom Burmah A moved them 12 points clear of the pack.
Park A and Moredon A remain second and third following their respective wins over Fairford and Lawn A.
It was a day of upsets in Division Three as the top two both lost.
Leaders Fairford B fell 32-26 to lowly Abbey Meads D, while Raychem C lost 34-28 to Croft B - who moved five points from top spot as a result.
Third-placed Abbey Meads C capitalised with a 46-15 win over Lawn D.
Nationwide C secured control of Division Four, keeping their perfect record intact at the expense of Ramsbury’s winning streak, with a 42-29 win moving the former three points clear at the top of the table.
It remains neck and neck at the top of Division Five, with Burmah D level on points with Croft D after both sides enjoyed wins over Raychem’s E and F teams respectively.