BRIDGWATER Mercury secured their first win of the season with victory over local rivals Sydenham Emeralds.
All members of the Mercury side were also available to the under-16s but their performance belied their junior years as they balled their way past more senior and experienced opponents.
The first quarter was closely fought and the sides were level at 10-10, with Mercury’s Morganne Dunn (GA) in great shooting form and Emeralds’ Michelle Parr creating plenty of space in the circle.
Mercury’s Lauren Cooke (WD), promoted from the under-14s, was not overawed, making good interceptions and helping the team carry the ball forward down the court.
In the second quarter, the defences began to take control.
For Mercury, Hana Middleton (GD) – an early substitute for the unlucky Victoria Saban (GD), injured in the first minute – and Emily Harwood (GK) began to control the shooting area.
In attack, Aerin Phillips started to find the net and at half-time the score was deadlocked at 18-18.
Emeralds gained control in the third quarter thanks to solid defending from Rheanne Lee to lead 28-27.
Determined to regain their advantage, Mercury pressed forward and Chloe Trout gained control of the middle court to link well with Olivia Shorthouse, who had a particular feisty battle with her opposite number.
Bridgwater’s pressure began to tell and they sneaked into a three-point lead in the dying minutes.
With Emeralds still battling, Mercury were forced to work hard in the final period but held on for a memorable win.
Julie McClean, of Bridgwater Netball Club, said: “I know the girls were well chuffed to win as it was their first win this season.”
Sydenham captain Michelle Martin was disappointed to lose but praised the efforts of her side. She said: “The game was goal for goal all the way through. Emeralds kept giving 100% and were unlucky to lose.”