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Cup Finals 2019 - Second Division

Bedford & District Netball League held their Cup Finals showcasing its talented players and teams of the season. Six exciting and close matches took place at the University of Bedfordshire which were well supported by their respective enthusiastic and vocal followers. Jo Brewster the England Netball Development Coach presented the trophies for the evening.

The second Division game was between Kestrels and Blue Knights.  Kestrels had won the divisional title and the defender’s trophy – could they do more.  It was their first time in a cup final for 30 years so they were all very excited but nervous too.  This showed in the opening moments of the match when they immediately gave away their first centre pass.  However, they settled down quite quickly and then the score went with centre pass.  There were excellent goals from Ellie Merritt from Blue Knights and great leadership for Kestrels from their centre Kerry O’Brien and this,  together with some excellent interceptions form Sophie Windmill at GD for Kestrels, would see the score at 8 goals apiece with 30 seconds to go.  But that was just enough time for Blue Knights to convert their centre pass to win the quarter by 9 goals to 8.

Kestrels were much more confident in the second quarter – Bethany Freeman was on target with her shooting and once again Kerry was directing play from the centre of the court.  Not to be outdone Esther Thomas and Ellie Merritt put up some great goals for Blue Knights and for a while it was level pegging.  But then Kestrels hit a purple patch and with Knights taking their foot off the gas it was an11 goals to 5 win for Kestrels.

The third quarter was initially very tight with some very good work in defence by Georgia Newbury at Goal Defence for Blue Knights.  Despite this Kestrels had the edge and were quarter winners by 8 goals to 5.

It would be a tall order for Blue Knights if they were to come back and win – they had to both achieve winning the quarter and do it by 9 goals.  The pressure of this caused them to make unforced errors and with Bethany and Vicky Lucas on form in the Kestrels circle it was the easiest quarter for Kestrels and they ran out winners by 12 goals to 5 – another team had done the double.

Player of the match was Kerry O’Brien from Kestrels and the umpires were Sheran Lobley and Jackie Stigwood.

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