Team Northumbria secured their first win of the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague season with a narrow 56-51 victory over Celtic Dragons.
Dragons returned to Round 9 of the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague action as eleven of the squad had return from the recent Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast eager to kick start the action back in the domestic league.
Early encounters and great composure in attack coupled with fantastic team pressure throughout the court saw them dragons take an early 7-5 lead.
Defensive pressure was key from the Dragons in the first quarter with all seven players making it difficult for the Northumbria attack.
A narrow margin at the end of the first quarter saw Dragons going into the break leading 15-13.
Team Northumbria, who struggled to cope with Georgia Rowe’s dominate display in attack during the first quarter, made changes to their line up for the start of the second quarter.
Dragons settled into their game plan though with the visitors unable to upset the movement of the ball through court allowing the hosts to further the score line to 7 goals at half time.
The second half began again with an unchanged line-up for Dragons who came flying out of the blocks, turning over ball to push on to a 32-26 score line.
However, it wasn’t long before Team Northumbria’s defence stepped up making the Dragons struggle to find space and penetrate the attacking third.
A series of loose possession allowed Team Northumbria to start clawing the score back to a four-goal deficit.
It was during the last quarter that Team Northumbria seemed to come to life, a series of turnover balls from Dragon’s mistakes quickly allowed them back into the game levelling the scores.
Dragons were struggling to find space and penetrate through court coupled with some lose passes and contact calls provided Team Northumbria with the opportunity to pull ahead for the first time in the match.
Team Northumbria showed a clinical edge to pull away to a 49-44 goal lead and saw out the game to leave Cardiff with their first Vitality Netball Superleague win of the season.