Following last weekend’s excellent away victory over the Telstars, Grangetown’s Premier League squad faced a crucial home game against Hertford Hornets this afternoon, with the visitors lying eighth in Premier League Two, just one place below Grangetown.
Both teams sported almost identical black dresses with orange trim, and the colour clash may have been partly responsible for some wayward passing from both sides during a first period that ended with the scores tied at 12-12. The Hornets had scored four goals without reply to take an 11-9 lead, before Grangetown responded with three quick goals, including a brilliant interception and pass from Vicky Rees which allowed an unopposed Faye Summerhill to equalise right at the end of the quarter.
Grangetown had eased into a 28-23 lead by half-time, with Goal Keeper Katie Walton securing two rebounds during the second period, and the whole team seemed to gain confidence from the girls’ increasing defensive dominance.
By the end of the third quarter however, the result had been put beyond doubt, as Grangetown extended their advantage to fourteen goals. It was another commanding period of play for Katie and Vicky, as the Hornets managed just seven goals in fifteen minutes and, having moved to Wing Defence, Lesley Mouat did a great job of defending against the visitor’s Wing Attack, who was arguably the Hornet’s best player on the day.
Grangetown produced some sparkling attacking play, virtually all of which was rewarded, as by this stage, the shooting combination of Faye and Jo Pettitt never really looked like missing. As often happens when one side is in the ascendancy, the bounce of the ball also started to go Grangetown’s way, but in truth, the 42-30 scoreline simply reflected the host’s overall supremacy.
The Hornets never gave up, but as they tired, so more passes went astray in the final quarter. The Grangetown squad’s superior fitness was evident as they kept a high tempo right through to the end of the game. The mid-court movement was superb, and the handling was, at times, exceptional; typified by a bullet pass from Faye Summerhill that was caught under the net by Jo Pettitt despite being tightly marked by two opposing defenders. The shooting percentages remained impressive and the final score was 61-37 in favour of the home side.
Overall this was a fine all-round team performance, and a thoroughly deserved second victory in the space of just eight days. Katie and Vicky’s sterling work laid the foundation, but the way that Faye and Jo finished off so much of the excellent approach play was the reason why the margin of victory was ultimately so conclusive.
Man of the Match: Jo Pettitt