LNC TIGERS 18 - 36 BODMIN
Liskeard Tigers welcomed their close rivals Bodmin to Lux Park and were still searching for their first win. However with Bodmin playing in division 1 last season the Tigers knew it wouldn’t be an easy encounter.
Bodmin opened the scoring and quickly went 3 goals ahead but Liskeard fought hard to get it back. With good shooting and circle work, Chappell and West managed to pull it back, trailing by just one goal at the quarter break which ended 6-7. Coach Britz was pleased with his teams opening 15 minutes and encouraged them to steady their play.
The second quarter saw the tall Bodmin GD make it hard for the Tigers when she began to read their play. Liskeard struggled to feed the ball to the shooters and the risky long shots were picked off. However, Liskeard persevered; Nickle and Dalton continued to work the ball around the circle with great back up from Lemon, while Liskeard defence battled hard to overturn possession and keep them in the game. At half-time Liskeard trailed by just 4 goals, ending 11-15.
Broad replaced West for the second half in the hope her range and fresh legs may outsmart the strong defence; but injury to Chappell early in the period disrupted the teams rhythm. A surprising change saw GK Smale move to GS for the first time this season, Barker dropping back and Finch coming off the bench to GD. The defence jelled straight away with Lemon and Finch reading each other well. The extra height provided by Barker as GK saw the rebounds began to feed down the court. Smale settled into her new position and the whole team were relieved when she netted her first goal. Tigers lost the quarter leaving the score 16-24 going into the last.
West returned for the final period but Bodmin came out of the blocks and stormed the final quarter. As Bodmins confidence grew the goals started to come and again, Bodmin’s defence put up a fight with Liskeard really struggling to get the ball into the circle. Liskeard were tiring, and although they gave everything they could, especially by Nickle which earnt her player of the match, they lost the game 18-36.
Liskeard made a steady start to the 2nd part of the season, but still couldn’t overcome their close rivals Bodmin 1. Having lost away to Bodmin earlier in the season, Liskeard knew the odds were stacked against them but wanted to prove they could hold their own this time round.
Bodmin started well and quickly went 4 goals up with no reply which forced Liskeard onto the back foot. Despite good play down the court the Tigers couldn’t find goal and Bodmin turned the ball over to capitalise. Liskeard began to find their feet towards the end of the quarter but Bodmin had a strong early lead of 15-7.
Liskeard came out a lot stronger for the second quarter, excellent feeding in and around the shooting circle by Eldridge and Glossop gave the shooters every chance at goal which they duly converted. Defensively Smale forced the GS out of the circle but the strong Bodmin GA was causing lots of problems with her excellent drive into the circle and fantastic shooting. However, Liskeard stayed strong and persevered with the interceptions to win the quarter 10 goals to 9.
Hastings replaced Lemon for the third and with Bodmin also replacing their GA both teams started slow and failed to settle. The strong Bodmin defence disrupted Liskeard’s rhythm but Liskeard matched this at the other end of the court with both Shepherd and Hastings picking off the interceptions. With such a high turnover rate the quarter ended just 5 goals to 4 in Liskeard’s favour.
Lemon came back on for the final quarter and her renewed energy upped the pressure on Bodmin, working well with Smale to reduce Bodmin’s attempts at goal. Tiger’s shooters Chappell and Hocking kept their composure against a very good defence but despite every attempt, Liskeard couldn’t quite get the edge this time round and drew the last quarter, finishing Tigers 30, Bodmin 36.
Photographs by Glen Rogers
Bodmin  33 - 36 Liskeard Cougars
Starting line-up: GK Sarah Skews, GD Sophie Thomas, WD Liz Julian, C Erin Beale, WA Carol Smith, GA Gabi Duffey, GS Vicky Ford. Res Louise Piner
Cougars were without Captain Emma Dalton due to an unfortunate car breakdown, so it was Beale who donned the centre bib. The first few goals were shared equally by both sides and it was clear early on that not a lot separated them but it was Cougars who gained an early advantage at quarter time taking the lead 8 goals to 5.
Bodmin started the second quarter with some key changes and initially Cougars found it hard to keep up with the increased intensity, quickly losing their advantage. With Duffey and Ford working well off the feeds of Smith and Beale however, the quarter ended with Bodmin holding a lead of just one goal.
Both teams started the 3rd quarter having made changes: Julian was replaced by Beale at WD, with Piner taking the centre bib. Again Bodmin pushed forward but in defence both Skews and Thomas worked hard to make the Bodmin shooters have to fight for position. With a key interception from Beale towards the end of the quarter and two excellent long range goals from Duffey, Cougars pulled the deficit to two goals going into the final quarter.
With all to play for and with greater confidence, Cougars had saved the best until last and exerted tremendous pressure on the Bodmin team. All credit to the opposition who never gave up and although trailing by 6 goals during the middle of the quarter pulled it back to within 5 for that extra bonus point, the final score 33 - 36 to Cougars!
It was a brilliant performance by the whole team but it was Duffey yet again who secured the umpires nod for Player of the Match due to her amazing goals from the edge of the circle.
Bodmin  27 - 27 Liskeard Cougars
Starting line up: GK Sarah Skews, GD Vicki Hastings, WD Liz Julian, C Debbie Drinkell, WA Sarah Collins, GA Lisa Webb, GS Gaby Duffey. Res Jenny Cribb & Emma Read
Cougars failed to take advantage of the first Centre pass and found themselves at 8 - 1 down after only a few minutes. Play became tighter and more organised with the defence of Skews, Hastings and Julian winning some key balls in the Bodmin attacking half and cougars did well to bring the score back to 9 - 7 at quarter time.
Cougars were unchanged for the start of the 2nd quarter and were quick to attack with Drinkell and Collins driving the ball into the two shooters. Despite really tight marking by the two Bodmin defenders Webb and Duffey worked the ball well to shoot close to 90% accuracy ending the half with Cougars leading by 2 goals.
Julian came off for Cribb to start the third quarter, Bodmin also made changes to their Centre and GK, and it was the home side that started stronger. The height of the Bodmin GK proving a problem for Duffey, who did well to work herself into some good shooting positions. Bodmin gained the two goal lead back from Cougars and built on this momentum to lead at the end of the third quarter 23 - 18.
Duffey went to GA and Webb swapped to GS for the beginning of the last quarter. Webb’s extra height was more of a match for the GK and Duffey was able to use her speed against the Bodmin GD . The defending was so tight at times that Webb was forced to shoot from the edge of the circle. 5 minutes into the quarter some vital interceptions from Skews and Hastings quickly moved forward by Cribb, Drinkell and Collins brought Cougars to within 2 goals. With 1 minute to go Hastings again proved why she was player of the match with a vital interception which was then converted and then a goal on the final Cougar centre pass ensured a well deserved draw.
Thanks to Angie Prior for umpiring and Emma Reed for scoring, coaching and enthusiastic encouragement - especially in the last quarter!