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Cup Finals 2107 week two






We opened the evening with the 4th Division Final between League Champions Dunstable Dragons and 3rd place Morestaff.  WA Tracey Grahame from Morestaff remembered the previous occasion when Morestaff had been in the finals – her teenagers had been youngsters then and would now appreciate the game so much more and the team members on this occasion had nearly all been together for their first final.  Both teams were very nervous at the start – they both had their opportunities but the goals just did not come for either team and it was over 6 minutes into the quarter before Morestaff opened the scoring.  Nicola West and Tracy Herrick worked well together and with some mid court interceptions giving them opportunities for turnovers Morestaff went into a 5 goals to 2 lead.  But Dunstable Dragons dug in and, despite some excellent defensive work from Trish Neill as GK for Morestaff they edged back into the game and with 40 seconds to go the score was 7 goals to 6 to Morestaff. It was their centre though and they held their nerve to score a goal as the whistle went and took the first quarter by 8 goals to 6. Dragons came out all guns firing in the second quarter and took an immediate 2 goals lead.  With shooters Sarah Smith and Gemma Dingle on good form they reached 5 goals to 2.  The goals continued to come for Dragons and Morestaff lost their rhythm and Dragons took a 7 goals to 3 lead.  But now it was Morestaff’s turn to show what they were made of and with tireless work by Alice Baker as centre for Morestaff and some excellent shooting they were back on level terms at 7 goals apiece.  The game went with goal after that and we finished with a draw at 9 goals apiece.

As they came out on court after half time Dragons knew they had to win the quarter or it was all over for them and with Morestaff not settling down so quickly they took the lead.  Morestaff got back on level terms but they took their foot off the gas and Dragons capitalised on their opportunities and were leading by 7 goals to 5 with a minute to go.  We then had to take time due to an injury to Trish Neill from Morestaff and when play resumed Morestaff lost their centre pass.  Dragons built on their lead and took the 3rd quarter by 8 goals to 5.  So when the teams came out for the final quarter points were even – whoever won the last quarter would be the winner but if it was a draw then Dragons would win by 1 goal!  Which way would it go!  Morestaff scored first and built up a 3 goal lead thanks to a spectacular goal from Tracy Herrick.  Then a few unforced errors crept in and Dragons were back in the hunt.  Tracy was to score another amazing goal keeping Morestaff just in the lead by 1 goal – the last minute was incredibly tense with the ball going from end to end, both teams making errors, but the whistle went and Morestaff had won the quarter by 7 goals to 6 and with it the 4th Division Trophy.



Player of the match award went to Alice Baker from Morestaff   


After the excitement of the first match we settled down for the 2nd Division Final between Tiger Moth and Absolute.  Both teams were in mid place in the division so we were expecting a tight match.  Absolute came out in very determined mode and we had a goal within 20 seconds. Tiger Moth responded immediately and goals went with centre passes until 3 minutes from the end.  A great interception by Lucy Clark from Tiger Moth, who had worked tirelessly throughout, would see them take the lead by 2 goals.  But not to be outdone Shelly Sillett obliged Asbolute with an interception and the teams were back on level terms.  With just one minute to go Tiger Moth were in the lead but Absolute snatched the equaliser just in time to make the first quarter an 8 all draw.  Tiger Moth came out strongly in the second quarter and built up a 3 goal lead but Absolute were not out of it and were soon back on level terms.  This seemed to give them the impetus they needed as more interceptions followed and they took a 3 goal lead themselves.  Errors crept into Tiger Moth’s game and Absolute took the second quarter by 10 goals to 7.  After half time Absolute’s good from continued, Nicky Murphy was on form in the circle and Shelley Sillett directed mid court very efficiently to give them a 2 goal lead.  Tiger Moth just could not respond and gradually Absolute built up an unassailable lead to win the quarter by 15 goals to 7 and with it the 2nd division cup.


Player of the match award went to Sally Sillett from Absolute.


Our final game of the evening – the Premier Division final - would feature league Champions lst Choice, who had been runners up in the final last year, against Cranfield Cavaliers. 1st Choice elected to take the first centre pass and successfully opened the scoring.  Cranfield equalised immediately but then nerves seemed to set in on both sides, shooting opportunities were missed, and we were halfway through the quarter before Cranfield edged into the lead.  This seemed to give Lydia Halliwell and Chrissy Riley in the circle for Cranfield the confidence they needed and Cranfield built on their lead to take the first quarter by 8 goals 4. 1st Choice made one or two team changes but Cavaliers stuck with their opening 7 players.  With some nice shooting from Beth Noble lst Choice built up a 3 goal lead as we approached mid quarter.  But Cranfield came back – Chrissy Riley had some good shots of her own and despite excellent work in defence from GK Sherma Joseph Cranfield came back to level the match.  A few errors crept in from lst Choice and Cranfield were the more disciplined and hungrier team – the half time whistle would see them take the quarter by 10 goals to 6.  After half time both teams defences worked really hard and it was 4 minutes before we saw Cranfield open the scoring.  Two quick goals in succession followed – but Choice fought back to 5 goals to 4 – they needed an interception if we were to go to a final quarter.  They worked hard but it was not to be and Cranfield went ahead by 6 goals to 4.  1st Choice would score one more goal to make it 6 goals to 5 for Cranfield – but it was not to be their night. Congratulations to Canfield Cavaliers.


Played of the match award went to Sherma Joseph from lst Choice


We were delighted to welcome back to Bedford International Umpire, Gary Burgess, who not only umpired the Premier Division Final – immediately following the Super League Final! – but who also kindly presented the trophies.  A real coup for the Bedford League.


Congratulations go to all the umpires for the evening – Gary Burgess, Katie Sanders, Cathie Carter, Sandra Howlett and a special thanks to Heather Pollard and Jess Young who also umpired 2 matches last week.


The plate winners for Division Four were Westoning Gems, for Division Two Blue Quip and for Premier Division Grangers Blaze.



Heather Nolan





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