8 March 2013
Celtic Dragons steered through Yorkshire tonight in front of a sea of pink and purple fans at Leeds Met University, driving a steady lead to take down their hosts by nine goals at the final whistle.
The Leeds crowd wore pink and purple, tops, cheered with pink and purple painted faces, and wielded and clattered pink and purple thunder sticks every time their team turned over a ball or scored. The Welsh did well to remain focused on the job in hand.
Several times in the game Players were seen crashing to the deck, and early on, Dragons Co-Captain Suzy Drane hurtled at speed into the Dragons bench, landing amongst players and chairs as she raced after a ball.
Such was the determination of the Welsh to make good from last week’s loss.
The first quarter was messy on both sides to start, and several turnovers from both teams lead to a contest for who of the two sides could capitalise and convert.
Dragon import Shooter Lottysha Cato impressed with her increasingly strong intakes, and soon Jets were ahead by three points.
The margin rose to six at the first quarter break, 11 – 17.
Yorkshire’s Natalie Haythornthwaite was clearly the crowd’s favourite as she was rewarded for every good move by a loud cheer and applause, but Haythornthwaite was put under pressure by Dragon’s Nichola James at WD who’s ‘off the ball’ marking and movement was second to none.
Dragons continued to apply the pressure, forcing Jets to make some bad passes and Alex Kirk was guilty, with Welsh GK Sara Hale ready to sweep up.
As half time loomed, the scoreboard showed a home side 13 goals in the red.
Both team’s Coaches moved Players around for the second half, with Lorraine Betsy coming on at GK, moving Hale to GD, Stephanie Williams to WD, and James to WA for Dragons.
By the third quarter break, Jets had only reduced the margin by one goal leaving much work to do in the final period.
Jenna Murie replaced Lorraine Betsy at GK in the final quarter for Dragons and worked well with Williams at GD.
Both Yorkshire Jets and the Yorkshire Jets fans stepped up another gear in the final quarter, and despite an overall higher shooting accuracy rate than their opponents across the game, Jets couldn’t pull back the score and Dragons claimed a 57 – 66 win.
Dragons Coach Melissa Hyndman will take the three points but is still searching for more from her team.
"I’m happy to have the win but I don’t think I’m happy with the performance. Our movement was very good but our passing to each other wasn’t very good."
"We played really well as units, and I think Timmi had a good game. they were very hard.
Hyndman is happy with the marking efforts of her Players tonight.
"My players were all talking about how sore their kidneys are but to me thats good because that means they were behind them trying to catch them."
The win gives Dragons a much needed boost and three valuable points on the table.
Jo Walker 48/50 96%
Natalie Haythornthwaite 9/12 75%
Alice Kirk 0/1 0%
Lottysha Cato 57/63 90%
Cara Moseley 9/13 69%