Dumfries Blues were in action on Sunday against local rivals Stewartry in the Carlisle League. Blues have had an enforced break due to missed fixtures and had not played a competitive match for over four months, and it showed in the early exchanges between the two Dumfries and Galloway teams.
Dumfries won the toss and had first centre pass, and whilst the ball made its way to the shooting circle, however good defence by Stewartry led to an early turnover and they moved the ball up court to take the first score of the match. Stewartry soon doubled their advantage from their centre pass to take an early 2-0 lead. Blues fought back immediately to tie the scores at 2-2. Stewartry were playing at a fast pace and putting pressure on Blues and once again found themselves with a 2 goal lead at 4-2. The match began to settle into a rhythm where both teams were going goal for goal, until the end of the first quarter when Dumfries turnover various plays from Stewartry to level the score and then move into a small lead 8-7 at the end of a very tight match.
The second quarter started and Dumfries Blues were beginning to get some fluency to both the centre pass and in the shooting circle. The defence began to put pressure on the Stewartry attack through a combination of tight player marking and zonal defence in the defensive circle by Hayley Hurst (GD) and Nicola Parkinson (GK). Dumfries Blues were able to increase their lead going into half time, albeit very slender 16-13.
The third quarter saw Blues mid court begin to dominate proceedings with Iona Haile (WD), Paula Craven (C) and Fionnuala Edgar (WA) interchanging passes and regularly manoeuvring the ball around the court and finding the attacking circle. The defence remained solid and Stewartry were beginning to make errors which enabled turnover ball for Dumfries. The lead was again extended to 5 goals at Dumfries Blues 23 - Stewartry18.
The final quarter saw Dumfries Blues assert their dominance in the fixture with Karen Reed (GA) and Kayleigh Proudfoot (GS) starting to look very reassured in front of goal. The scoreboard continued to tick over for the Blues and when the final whistle was blown Dumfries Blues were victorious 33 - 24. The match was a tense throughout and the Dumfries players were buoyant with a well-deserved victory. Paula Craven was named player of the match.
Dumfries Blues are always keen to grow the sport of netball in the local area, and provide competitive and recreational opportunities for young and old. Kayleigh Proudfoot from Annan is evidence of this development as at only 14 years old is becoming a key member of the senior side.
For anyone interested in competitive netball the club train on Monday evenings at Loreburn Hall (5-6pm P3-P5, 6-7.30pm P6 – S3, 7.30-9pm S4 to Seniors) The club are also running free recreational netball on Friday evenings 6-7pm at Loreburn Hall where anyone from 14 upwards are welcome to attend. For further information please contact the club on email@example.com or visit us on facebook.