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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deva Fever! League Newcomers Beat Champs

DEFENDING champions Great Dane suffered a shock 19-21 defeat to league newcomers Deva at Leyton SCORE Centre in London on Sunday.

After winning the Northern Development League for the last two season, Chester side Deva travelled to London to take on a Great Dane side who secured their first European victory in the European Challenge Cup just a few weeks earlier.

But they got off to an excellent start with 17-year-old England Youth international Ellie Whitehead banging in a powerful finish from the left wing.

Throughout the first half it was neck and neck, with neither side converting several one on one fast break opportunities as defences dominated, and Great Dane edged ahead 10-9 at the break.

The second half continued where the first half left off, with Anne Kandler of Great Dane and Florentina of Deva trading blows with several jump shot goals.

With around ten minutes remaining Great Dane took a three-goal lead, but Deva refused to give in, showing why they were undefeated for two years in the development league.

A time out and a change of tactics worked wonders, and 18-year-old National League debutant Nicola Quick threw herself into the area to win a penalty, coolly converted by Florentina.

This was followed by two inch-perfect passes by Charlotte Robinson which allowed Loewnau to finish expertly from the right wing and edge ahead to win 21-19.

"This is more than we could have hoped for and hopefully sends a clear message out that Deva have arrived,” said coach Donna Hankinson.

“We have been working towards this for the past three seasons, we consistently have 25 girls training with us, a couple of excellent European players and the rest young English girls.

“We wanted to enter the National League this year to give these young players some role models, players and a team to aspire to be in - and what better start could we have had?

“Some will look at the result and maybe think we were lucky, but you make your own luck.”

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