This week has been an incredibly successful one for Yorkshire Jets with three positive training sessions, two big wins and one top four position secured!
Our first match was against fifth-placed Team Bath on Thursday in front of another incredible sell-out crowd at Leeds Beckett.
Bath, who were keen to keep their own top-four dream alive, managed to score the first four goals of the game.
Perhaps, the nightmare of our last encounter when we scored the first 10 goals unanswered still haunted them.
But Jets were not going to let Bath have it all their own way and after a time out came back with all jets firing.
The attack end started to find their flow and once again Timmy Cato was a shooting machine!
Down in defence we worked hard as a unit to create plenty of interceptions and disrupt Team Bath’s game plan. This paid off with a three-goal lead after the first quarter that was extended to a strong 31-22 lead at half-time.
Jets were disappointed we didn’t build on the lead in the third quarter, letting Bath come back within four goals –though we were really just keeping the game exciting for our home crowd!
However, we didn’t want the game to get too exciting and after a stern word or two from head coach Anna Carter, we upped the pressure once again, taking a convincing 55-44 win and booking our place in the play-offs in the process!
Our next challenge came on Easter Monday in the form of Celtic Dragons in a match televised live on Sky Sports.
Jets knew that on paper we were the clear favourites but we aimed to use the game as a chance to work on new strategies ready for the play-offs and to give opportunities to some of the girls who have not had quite so much court time.
I’m glad to report that we did indeed achieve all this with a massive 75-47 win and youngster, Lydia Walker, impressing with a fabulous interception as soon as she took the court.
It was particularly pleasing to watch the game afterwards and hear the positive TV commentary, finally acknowledging Jets are indeed worthy of one of the play-off positions.
In particular, the Sky commentators recognised the talent of the youngsters in our squad.
A special feature on eighteen-year-old Jess Shaw highlighted her work ethic in getting to the edge of the circle in order to feed the shooters.
All of us at Jets found this quite amusing as Jess’ speciality is to swoop the ball above her head, rise onto her tip toes and launch the ball in from the centre circle, somewhat contradicting this analysis! However, there aren’t many players who can accurately feed from such a distance – trust me I attempted the long feed once and breathed a very heavy sigh of relief as the ball dropped safely into Timmy’s hands.
Jess along with two of our other talented youngsters, Lydia and Brie Grierson, have got a particularly busy week. After playing on Monday night they had a two-day England Under-21 camp on yesterday and today, to start the preparation for a tour to Australia this summer. The girls will then re-join us for training on this evening and tomorrow ready for our match on Saturday.
I know for a fact Brie, who turns eighteen today, is delighted that her birthday week is filled with so much netball!
The match on Saturday is away against fourth-placed Hertfordshire Mavericks. A win against Mavericks will guarantee we finish in third place and confirm Surrey as our opposition for the semi-finals.
However, if we lose to Mavericks it is likely that we will travel to Manchester Arena to once again battle it out with Thunder.
Either way the next few weeks are going to be very exciting and I can 100 per cent guarantee that Yorkshire Jets are more than ready!