Goal attack Phoebe Bunce takes a shotHannah Mawardi with permission for Varsity

The fourth team of the Cambridge University Ladies’ Netball Club (CULNC), also known as the Wrens, has had an impressive netball season so far, winning every match and usually by a significant margin. This is their first year competing in BUCS, but they are currently top of their league table (Midlands tier 7), and are guaranteed a promotion for next year. Individual players such as Jesus fresher Emma Pannett have been highlighted as doing particularly well this season – her squadmates praising that “[she] never looks tired, [and] can run for an hour”.

“The Wrens started the match as they meant to go on”

This week’s match saw the light blues face De Montfort 3s. The Wrens started the match as they meant to go on, scoring within the first 30 seconds. Their defence pressured de Montfort’s energetic players into numerous held balls, gaining valuable penalties. Although De Montfort upheld a strong attack when they had the ball, Cambridge rarely gave it away and used the height of their goal shooter and goal attack to deliver the ball straight into the shooting circle before their opposition had time to react. Goal shooter Bella Grimes buried one after another with a nearly 100% score rate in the first quarter, and this impressive standard continued throughout the entire match. By halftime, the score was 50-5, and Cambridge continued to dominate the final two quarters. De Montfort gained some momentum in the third quarter, with plenty of interceptions and some scoring. But Cambridge came back stronger in the final quarter, picking up the pace in the final few minutes as they aimed to score 100 goals. They only narrowly missed out on this milestone due to De Montfort’s impressive jumping interceptions, a testament to their consistent energy throughout the game. The match ended 96-10 in Cambridge’s favour.

“[We] got to experiment with different play and show some flair”

The light blues were satisfied with their performance after the match, with captain Ines Shammah explaining that it was “really fun” and that they “got to experiment with different play and show some flair”. Indeed, in the final quarter, Mercy Akinyele left the comfort of the shooting circle where she was originally stationed as goal keeper to have a run around at centre. Player of the match was awarded to a very well-deserving Sejal Karmarkar, who played goal defence for the first three quarters and goal keeper in the last.


Mountain View

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Alongside their sporting success, the Wrens have become a “really close-knit team” – with Lucy Puth going so far as to describe them as “best of friends”, which would be a really sweet sentiment if it wasn’t a shameless plug to their team Instagram, @yourbestfwrens. They seem to be enjoying every element of CULNC, with one exception: “We hate 7am Friday fitness.”

The uninterrupted success of this season has inspired confidence for the Wrens’ Varsity match in February – as Lucy Puth and Yasmin Rickaby told us: “[We have] beaten Oxford already [in BUCS], so Varsity is looking upward.” We wish them the best of luck.