Dragons endured a tough match against Loughborough Lightning in the previous day’s fixture, but were keen to put their best foot forwards on the second day of their April double-header weekend. Wasps were the opposition this time, against whom Dragons had put out their best performance of the season a few weeks ago. As a result, there was plenty of cause for optimism in the lead up to first centre pass.
It was goal-less for the opening two minutes before captain Rebekah Robinson converted Dragons’ first opportunity with a straightforward goal. Robinson was in fine form as she intercepted the Wasps centre pass and moved swiftly up the court to convert her own opportunity. Dragons’ bright start was no deterrent to the opposition who went on a scoring run before Dragons scored from a much needed turnover, only to cede possession on their own centre-pass as a couple of shots rebounded. As a result it was advantage Wasps at the break.
It was a scrappy start to the second quarter and Wasps looked frustrated in parts as Dragons played with grit to cling to the coat-tails of the opposition. Christina Shaw kept up the pressure on Wasps’ shooter Rachel Dunn as Abby Tyrrell sought to pounce on any pressured passes she could find in the circle. Clare Jones was keen to add her name to the intercepts stat sheet and leapt up to snatch a loose Wasps pass on the wing, which was transitioned up court successfully by Shona O’Dwyer who fed it into a mobile Amy Clinton for the goal. This more patient style of play was pleasing to watch for Dragons fans despite the continued lead of the opposition at the half time break.
Robinson was positive in her half-time interview and this attitude permeated the squad as the team returned to court after the interval full of zest for the challenge ahead. Some successful long-range goals for the Jamaican international did Dragons’ cause no harm. A lack of focus from the opposition saw Dragons get plenty of chances to counter in the third quarter, a particlar highlight was Clare Jones’ spot of an open Clinton for an easy-peasy feed from mid-court. Another highlight was Shona O’Dwyer’s hunting of an errant rebound, showing the team’s continued determination to chase every element of the match. As in the previous quarter, it was a very competitive period of play.
The last quarter saw Wasps make a number of changes while Dragons elected to swap Tyrrell and Shaw in GD and GK respectively. Again, Dragons kept composed and stuck to their task throughout to cap off one of their most consistent performances of the season with plenty of positives to take into the second half of the season.
Quarter scores: 06-14 (06-14); 10-12 (16-26); 09-11 (25-37); 13-15 (38-52).