Liskeard Panthers v Connect 3 - Thursday 28th February at Lux Park
LNC Panthers 45, Connect  42
Starting Line up: GK Lynn Webb, GD Lauren Finch (captain), WD Molly Walsh, C Louise Halliday, WA Emma Dunn, GA Laura Carroll, GS Christina Broad. Reserves: Katie Brewer & Hannah Gregory.
Another new line up for Panthers: Cougar Webb took position in GK and recently affiliated Molly Walsh started at WD. Panthers started strong, working the ball forward well with GA Laura Carroll holding her space effectively and GS Christina Broad making some excellent shots. Webb worked well in defence with GD Lauren Finch, making some excellent interceptions, but Connect 3 managed to creep ahead by 3 goals, and the quarter ended 12-9 in their favour.
The three-goal deficit did not dishearten Panthers, and they returned to the court in the second quarter all the more determined to get ahead. Louise Halliday moved into WD and Molly took her place at C. Halliday adapted capably to her position in defence, impeding the WA and helping Finch to block the evasive GA. Walsh took well to her position as centre, having played in this position for Cougars, and worked effectively with WA Emma Dunn. The changes seemed to pay off as Panthers managed to even out the scores. This proved to be the encouragement Panthers needed, and with and continued shooting success, they fought on to end the quarter six goals ahead at 23-17.
With this lead behind them, Panthers returned to the court with a new sense of optimism. The line-up remained unchanged as the Panthers were determined to build upon their lead. From the centre passes the ball was worked forward effectively following the set plays, and Dunn and Walsh supported well at the circle edge. Broad made easy work of dodging away from her player, Carroll held her space, and the shots continued to fly through the net. Webb continued to make numerous interceptions but in the mid-court the turned-over balls were often lost due to inadequate spacing of players and lack of players in the mid-court. Connect managed to make up the deficit and the scores, which had looked certain for a Panthers victory, drew even. Panthers continued to work determinedly though, and through continued interceptions in the mid-court and defence, and improved spacing in the mid-court they managed to regain their lead and the quarter ended 34-28 to Panthers.
After a tantalising quarter of loss and subsequent gain it was even more important to remain focussed for the final quarter. With problems in the mid-court now mostly ironed out the play flowed more smoothly through from the defence. Although interceptions were still being made the GA proved tricky to block out of the circle and Connect continued to get in the shots. Connect seemed determined to push ahead and the scores began to close in, but Panthers remained more determined still and the match ended with Panthers winning by a breath-taking 45 goals to 42.
Panthers’ first victory comes as such a long awaited relief to all of the team, who have worked so hard all season to no avail. Hopefully this will provide a kick-start to their winning streak! Player of the match was awarded to Christina Broad for her excellent shooting.