Cup final celebrations for Dunmow Dragons!
- Credit: Archant
Dunmow Dragons enjoyed an exciting end to the netball season with success in the Chelmsford District League’s Prince’s Cup.
Facing Wine Cellar White, a team from higher in the league, in the final, the underdog Dragons showed early signs of nerves as passes and shots went awry.
Just as Dragons began to settle, experienced goalkeeper Karen Wallace suffered a knee injury, forcing her out of the game.
Wallace's ability to read the play so well had been a key part of the team's success this season and Wine Cellar built momentum.
But Dragons held firm in defence, as substitute goalkeeper Michelle Cooper, goal defence Emily Witham and wing defence Laura Dolan, the captain, worked calmly together.
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They made crucial interceptions and took well-timed rebounds to ensure Dragons were on level terms at 22-22 at half time.
And the third quarter saw Dragons make a flying start to edge ahead of their rivals, as wing attack Tracy Davis and centre Kate Raymond made the most of their centre passes and produced some quick balls into goal attack Natalie Perry, who scored some great goals from distance.
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Wine Cellar once again fought back, reducing the Dragons lead to one goal going into the final quarter, with both teams feeling the nerves, aware any mistakes could cost them the game.
But Dragons came into their own, using their experience and teamwork skills, as the whole team rallied, calmly working the ball down court to goal shooter Victoria Carey, who was able to score consecutive goals under pressure.
At the final whistle, to the cheers of a huge crowd, Dragons were crowned cup winners after a nail-biting 41-37 victory and a spokesperson said: "Dragons would like to say a huge thank you to coach Clare Bailey for all her hard work this season, as well as Gerry McAdams and Sam Jackson who continued to support us while being unable to play.
"And a big thank you as well to all the family, friends and Dunmow Phoenix team who came to support in the final."