NETBALL: AFTER a disappointing two-goal defeat in the National League last week, Chester were hoping to return to winning ways in the Northern League against Seatonians, a team from Whitley Bay who have never lost to the Chester side.
After the tough game last week, Chester were left depleted with captain Jill Canfield unavailable after injuring her knee against Plymouth, Jenny Spencer suffering from a calf injury and Kath Hacking fracturing her finger, along with long-term absentee Karen Taylor.
In the opening quarter, the Chester defence made a couple of interceptions which provided the Chester shooters the opportunity to take the lead, but missed shots soon meant the visiting team took the lead.
Seatonians continued to press and increase their lead. As the quarter progressed, Chester appeared to get their game together and managed a run of goals to close the gap. However, the quarter still ended with the visitors 14-7 in front.
Neither team made any changes during quarter-time and it once again appeared as if the Chester side had got their game together as the whole team worked hard and forced Seatonians into mistakes, as well as intercepting the ball.
The pressure enabled Chester to close the gap to only one goal, but once again their timing and decision-making let them down and, at half-time, Chester were 10 goals behind at 27-17.
Pam Lucas decided to make changes, Suzi Drane was replaced by Dawn Paterson, Helen Dodds and Maxine Gumbs switched positions and Laura Davison and Vicki Barton also switched positions.
Unfortunately, the changes made little difference. The Seatonian shooters, who had only missed seven shots between them in the first half, managed to convert 13 from 17 attempts.
At the other end, Chester did not have as many attempts - only 14 - and managed to score only nine goals, leaving Chester trailing 40-26 at three-quarter time.
Further changes were made to the Chester side. Carla was brought on at GK, Jo Maskery moved to GD, Dawn Paterson moved to WA and Claire Cooper came into the game at Centre.
The changes appeared to make a difference as Carla made some superb interceptions in the debut game. However, Chester were once again plagued with another injury, this time Jo Maskery had to be replaced by Sam, also playing in her debut game.
Despite the forced changes, Sam and Carla played amazingly and forced the shooters into mistakes as well as getting numerous interceptions.
However, the experienced Seatonian side stayed well ahead of Chester and again scored more goals than their hosts. In a disappointing game for Chester, the final score was 51-34.
Chester's next game is in two weeks' time on November 16 against Toucans from Bath, by which time it is hoped that some of their players will have recovered from injury.