Yorkshire Jets secured their first win of the Vitality Netball Superleague season beating Celtic Dragons 45-44 in a dramatic encounter.
Jets had to use every ounce of grit and determination to hold on for victory after the Welsh side came back from seven points behind at the end of the third quarter. Dragons took the lead at one point in the final 15 minutes but every player held their nerve, while Alex Kirk and Maria Lutua got key goals and Jets took the points.
The first quarter was a disappointing one for Jets who struggled to find their form. Outplayed by the home side, who capitalised on errors, they were five points behind after 15 minutes. Whatever was said by head coach, Anna Carter, at quarter-time, worked – there was a dramatically different performance from the same set of players and they won the quarter 20-9 thanks to some brilliant defensive work and impressive shooting.
Six points ahead at half-time, they continued in the third quarter with a strong performance against a Dragons side that never gave up. Cheered on by the home crowd, they had reduced the Jets’ lead to seven with 15 minutes to play. At the final break, every Jets fan will have been asking the question – could they keep it up and claim their first win of the season?
They had to work hard for it, as Dragons reduced the lead and, at one point, went ahead, but the answer to the question was yes, they could.
As the final whistle went, the players celebrated a hard-fought win in their penultimate game of the season, and Carter said: “This has been a challenging season but I am delighted we held our nerve and got the points despite an impressive comeback from Celtic Dragons at the end of the game.”
The victory means Jets will be in high spirits as their final game of the season comes quickly – tonight – against Manchester Thunder at Manchester Arena.