UEL netball team finish season undefeated
- Credit: Archant
Short-handed University College no match for dominant East London squad
Goal attack Stacie Smith netted 41 times as the University of East London netball team finished their season with an unbeaten record of 10-0 after thrashing University College London sixth team 60-22.
UCL were only able to field six players for their visit to UEL, so had to make do without a wing defence.
However, the hosts were also handicapped by the absence of goal scorer Jaspreet Sagoo, who was side-lined with an ankle injury.
Goalkeeper Joyce Mlambo was moved up to goal scorer, whilst Megan Seaby was called up from the second team to play goalkeeper.
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UEL were quick to find a rhythm against the visitors and rapidly built up a 15-5 lead.
The one-player disadvantage began to impact University College London early on, as their centre struggled without the aid of the wing defence, and the team had difficulty finding open receivers after centre passes.
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The first quarter ended with the hosts leading 21-8, but they did lose Seaby to an ankle injury in the final minutes of the first.
In the second quarter, Mlambo moved back to goalkeeper and Hannah Blacklock entered the match as goal scorer.
The East Londoners continued to expand their lead throughout the quarter and led 36-14 at the half.
Smith scored UEL’s 40th point in the third quarter. Down 42-15, UCL took an injury timeout after their goal attack injured her hand. After a brief delay the player returned to the court.
The game went to the fourth quarter with the home side up 49-17. The East Londoners struggled for a while, trying to score their 50th point.
It was not until halfway through the final quarter that Smith finally scored. With 50 points secured, Smith caught fire again and led UEL to a 60-22 triumph.
Mlambo was credited with eight points, whilst Blacklock scored 10 during the emphatic success.
UEL’s goalkeeper said that the desire to finish the season undefeated gave the team extra incentive in the match.
“We had to take the opportunity with the free player and attack quickly and just play a bit faster,” Mlambo said.
“Everyone’s ecstatic, because that was one of our main goals at the start of the season, to win our league, because we didn’t do that last year. So we are all really happy that we’ve achieved that target.”