Ellen McLaughlin reporting from Penryn Campus Sports Centre
We all know that any match between CSM and RSM always offers a tasty sporting prospect and Netball was no different!
This annual netball Varsity match has been played since 2010, with CSM running out victors on five occasions! Each team marks this match out on their calendar as a special day and a key season defining fixture! CSM had brought early season form, confidence and a sense of quiet determination to the match and with home advantage; they were secretly confident!
So on a cool February evening, with a boisterous crowd cheering on both sides; the game started.
The early exchanges reflected a pattern that soon defined the first half, short incisive passing, quick movement and good use of space allowed CSM to establish a 10-0 lead through the accurate shots from Chloe Burrows-Bryan and the formidable GK Poppy Phillips, who’s height and reach prevented RSM’s attempts at every opportunity.
Despite this, after a few substitutions, RSM were beginning to find their feet and scored four times in a row to bring the scores to 10-4. Yet CSM remained composed to get seven more points on the board to give them a 17-7 advantage going into the break. A well-deserved lead as the half-time whistle blew!
These matches blend both sporting determination, pride and long standing rivalries which means a 10-point advantage cannot be taken for granted. A second half response from RSM was expected.
Sensing this challenge, the local supporters consisting of the CSM football team: offered strong vocal encouragement for the team! The team made full use of the substitutes bench CSM captain Danielle Georgiou at Centre, replaced Charlotte Robertson and Billie Fletcher into Goal Defence replaced key changes to keep the team fresh and strong to meet the anticipated RSM response.
As the second half unfolded the RSM challenge flickered at an early stage but drifted away against a fierce CSM onslaught. As the quarter grew to a close, the CSM team seemed to perform with an even greater intensity: more accurate passing and movement. Even, when Nurhan Abbud (WD) had to retire due to injury: the CSM team did not lose their momentum! RSM were hoping this slight pause to the game would allow them an opportunity to regain some composure! But their mistakes were only capitalised by the CSM team!
As the final whistle blew; the whole squad ran onto the court to congratulate the team! The final score was 31-14! CSM outplayed RSM in all departments! Ellie Bowyer was the top goal scorer on the day and her overall play marked her out for a special mention. Her partnership with both Chloe Burrows Byran (first half) and Megan Barsby (second half) are important to highlight! Both were unstoppable partnerships!
However, this was an excellent team performance and reflected the pre-match confidence for a well deserved win on all levels. Congratulations to CSM! It was a great spectacle to watch!