Aidan’s edge Mildert in College Varsity Netball

The following is an article provided by Palatinate.

St Aidan’s recorded a narrow 22-20 victory over Van Mildert in the College Varsity Netball at Maiden Castle.

The opening exchanges were hotly contested, with Siobhan Campbell and Hannah Stanley of Aidan’s and Van Mildert’s Laura Ahmed and Alice Whitehead proving to be prolific, with the first quarter ending with the sides tied at 7-7.

However, the second quarter proved to be more frustrating for Mildert, whose calmness had seemingly been lost in the tight affair, managing only three goals as passes went astray and their previously efficient attack being made to look ineffective through the lack of quality in the final ball. “Careful passing” was therefore the cry from the sidelines from the few Mildertians that had made their way down to Maiden Castle.

At the other end, Aidan’s held their nerve as Stanley and Maria Skinner put their side into an albeit narrow 12-10 half-time lead.

If ever there was a quarter of a netball game that would decide the eventual outcome, then the third quarter would prove to be it. Mildert failed to resolve their issues, allowing Aidan’s to extend their lead to 20-12. Campbell and Stanley were faultless with their shooting accuracy, and the interchanging play of Aidan’s far outshone that of their Hill college rivals.

Nevertheless, as ineffective as they were in the second and third quarters, Mildert nearly produced the greatest of comebacks after a minor tactical adjustment. Captain Laura Ahmed was dropped back into Centre in place of Olivia Adams, whilst substitute Georgia Fielding replaced Ahmed as Goal Shooter.

The change reaped immediate rewards, as a relentless onslaught brought Mildert to within two goals of their opponents at 20-18. The collective effort of Fielding and Whitehead managed eight goals in the final quarter, but it was the two scored by Aidan’s that ultimately decided the game.

Having once again coped with pressure, albeit this time it being the prospect of Mildert drawing level, they put on a mature display to see the game out and make it one victory apiece in the series of varsity fixtures between the two colleges, after Mildert prevailed 22-19 in the men’s rugby two weeks ago.

Photograph: Kishan Vaghela