A strong fourth quarter saw Celtic Dragons reduce Leeds Rhino’s lead, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.
The match started with an early intercept from Tuiane Keenan which was closely followed by an incredible intercept from Annabel Roddy. A couple of turnovers from Dragons meant that Rhinos were able to get a 3-goal lead with over five minutes gone in the first quarter. A ball over the back line, and a held ball for Rhinos, saw Dragons level the scores once again in an enthralling match. Tight defence from Rhinos and loose balls from Dragons saw Leeds take a 6-goal lead into quarter 2.
The contest continued from the first quarter and neither team took their foot off the gas. Jade Clarke was unstoppable in Centre, getting tips and intercepts and the goals weren’t stopping for Rhinos’ Amy Clinton. Celtic Dragons Head Coach, Dannii Titmuss-Morris, decided it was time to put Leila Thomas and Laura Rudland on to stem the flow of Rhinos. A late surge from Dragons saw the Leeds Rhinos lead by 12 goals at half time.
Going into the third quarter, Leeds Rhinos changed their shooting circle, with Sigi Burger taking to the court at goal shooter and Sienna Rushton putting on the goal attack bib. There was no ball uncontested by either side and the feeds into Georgia Rowe and Sigi Burger were inch perfect. The individual battle between Amelia Hall and Nia Jones was one you couldn’t take your eyes off. They contested at every chance they had and both teams turned up the heat. Towards the end of the third quarter there was a surge of goals that came from defensive intercepts and finished with great attacking play from Celtic Dragons.
In the fourth quarter, we saw Michelle Macgee replace Emily Hollingworth at wing defence for Leeds Rhinos. Shona O’Dwyer came back on to court at wing attack for Celtic Dragons along with Shaquanda Greene-Noel at goal keeper. The defensive pressure was stepping up for Dragons which resulted in huge intercepts from Celtic Dragons goal keeper Shaquanda Greene-Noel, Annabel Roddy and Nia Jones, which saw Amy Clinton return to the court with 6 minutes to go at goal shooter to try and win back ball. The late surge of goals got the crowd on their feet, but unfortunately the time ran out for Celtic Dragons. The game ended Celtic Dragons 52, Leeds Rhinos 57.