A hastily-arranged intra-club friendly saw the EUNC 2s finish ahead of their club mates from the side below by a scoreline of 40-27.
EUNC 2s were scheduled to play their third-round Western Conference Cup match against the University of West England 3s. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, with UWE pulling out and guaranteeing a quarter-final place for Exeter, a last minute friendly between EUNC 2s and 3s was arranged. The 3s were not at full strength, but they didn’t let this panic them going into the match. The first quarter began with the 3s looking strong with great positioning on the court and especially around the attacking circle; they put instant pressure on the 2s. With both teams very evenly matched, the centre passes were taken very quickly and taken to goal evenly for both teams. The 3s used the speed of the match to their advantage. With effective defending from all players, the 2s were put under unexpected pressure. The 3s managed to use the 2s faults to their advantage, ending the first quarter up 6-9.
They had finally found their feet and shooters emma borch and india crawley were working in sync with each other
The second quarter saw the 2s settle into the match – now, they increased the pressure on the 3s, forcing errors- and the 2s could pick up the lost balls and carry it down the court. The 3s, having changed one shooter, continued to add to their score, leading by 3 goals. The 2s were starting to look stronger as their centre passes were taken extremely quickly with only a few passes into the circle to score. They had finally found their feet and shooters Emma Borch and India Crawley were working in sync with each other, their accuracy aided in reducing the score difference. Whilst the 2s were only ever a couple behind, the 3s were well supported the whole way down the court from centre court players Rhiannon Phillips and Jessica Burns. Both teams were making errors due to the fast paced nature to the match. The 2s managed to use the errors made by the 3s to their advantage and equalised the score and ultimately finishing half time up 20-17.
The friendly allowed combinations across both teams to be tried: Katy Hills was moved from the 3s to the 2s after half time. This made an impact instantly, as it slowed the game down for the 3s and the 2s worked collectively and quickly to keep increasing their lead. The combination of the 2s quick passes and fast movement from the centre court players, along with effective defending, proved they were the stronger team. Nevertheless, the 3s did not relent at any moment. As they noticed the score was getting away from them, everyone started to communicate more and increased the pressure. They utilised more of the court to try and prevent the 2s, pushing them all into the same space and intercepting their passes. The score stood still for a few minutes as both teams could not effectively use the mistakes or interceptions to increase their score. The ball swung back and forth from both teams until the 2s were successful, finding the gaps in the 3s defence, scoring four goals before the 3s could score one.
The 3s, going into the last quarter were trailing by nine, 32-23. They returned to their first combination of shooters that worked effectively in the first quarter. Rosie Fleming and Siân Seccombe from the 3s rotated around the shooting circle well, even though this was their first time on court together. But, as a team, the 2s – captained by Flora Munro – dominated the match as they were able to use the entirety of the court, forcing the ball down particular sides and playing into the open spaces. Rosie Minderides helped to maintain the lead for the 2s, barely missing a shot. With a combination of accurate shooting, speed and effective use of open spaces down the court, the 2s managed to get the better of the 3s.
Exeter 2s – 40
Exeter 3s – 27
Friendly, 18 January 2017