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Charnwood’s quality shines through – but proud Jets battle until the end

Netball | Published:

TEAM JETS' netballers put in a huge shift of work at the Fort, but visitors Charnwood underlined the value of momentum with an 11-point victory in Premier League 3.

nRosie Tonner of Jersey Jets (red)in action against Corey McGlynn of Charnwwod at Fort Regent yesterday Pictures: ROB CURRIE (22675042)

Only formed two seasons ago, with two clubs amalgamating in the East Midlands, this young Charnwood side is on the up and clearly ambitious, having arrived in Jersey on Friday to show just how seriously they take their netball.

Jets, who drew their opening league encounter at the Fort the week before, knew what to expect as Charnwood had destroyed their opening day opposition . . . and boy did the Island side battle. Jets’ rise through the leagues has produced some epic encounters . . . and although the current side is being rebuilt, they still give their loyal and vocal supporters entertainment-plus, along with a whole lot of energy and heart.

Promoted at the end of last season, Charnwood got the drop on Jets early in the first two quarters and the lead they built then was never overhauled, no matter how hard the home side tried, particularly in the third quarter. Jets grew into the early quarters but could never quite maintain a run of dominance for long enough.

Some extraordinary defensive play from the visitors, and goal-defence Abi Hymas in particular, meant a lot of balls into the circle never found their target, but were rather speeding their way down court.

This was emphatically not, however, a poor Jets performance, with errors being forced rather than gifted. And, driven on by captain Jacy Brown, they showed true grit, digging-deep in every quarter as Charnwood’s advantage went up and down from as little as one point early on, to 11 by the end.

Jersey’s own defence was good (despite being up against a real class act in the unflappable Ellie Gallacher), with Josie Le Masurier a real star and Lisa Luce also working hard. Jets were made to graft hard for their points, however, and getting the ball into goal-shooter Emily Green was rarely straightforward. Lilly Jones, a second-quarter goal-attack replacement for Tallula Norman (whose four from four shots, mostly from distance, gave her a rare 100 per cent record), showed nerves of steel on her Jets’ debut, particularly against such high-energy opponents.

A rising star with Jets U16s and Severn Stars in the UK, Jones can be proud of her first match and 84.6 per cent strike rate.

Charnwood won every quarter, the first by two points; the third by just one and the last by three . . . but the five points dropped in the second quarter proved decisive in the end and an extra losing bonus point went unclaimed.

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Head coach Linda Andrews, never happy to lose, knew Jets faced a real task this weekend and saw enough in her charges to know they are developing well, pointing to the maturing Rosie Tonner’s performance as a clear example. ‘She’s so eager to learn and her performances are getting better all the time. She spent a lot of time on the bench when we had our really experienced side a couple of seasons ago, but her development has come on really well.

‘Lily [Jones] is a real prospect, too, and she did extremely well on her senior debut. But Charnwood were strong all over the court, not just a couple of star players so I have to be proud of the way we battled them right to the end.’

Jets now face a month on the road, with two away games in October, starting with Billericay on the 14th. The next home match is on Sunday, 4 November, against Norfolk (provisionally at the Fort at 1 pm).

Jets: Josie Le Masurier, Lisa Luce, Nicole Goddard, Jacy Brown (capt), Rosie Tonner, Tallula Norman (Lily Jones), Emily Green. Replacements: Molly Carré, Libby Rothwell, Abbie Le Marquand, Leah Griffin.

The match was sponsored by Polar Capital, with other backers of Jets being Dominion, the One Foundation, CPA Global, the States, Stage2 Productions, Seymour Hotels, Bracken and Rothwell, St Michael’s and the Jersey Sport Foundation.

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