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Highbury Korfball Club get the January blues as they lose top spot

16:34 28 January 2014

Highbury

Highbury's Marrit Nijmeijer (centre) scored in her final appearance of the season

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Swiss-Cottage based Highbury Korfball Club relinquished their place at the top of the London Regional League after a disappointing 19-15 defeat at home to Nomads II.

Nomads – who are the only team to beat Highbury so far this season - were on top form from start to finish, but Highbury fought hard to stay in contention throughout.

Coach Andrew Speck shuffled his team, bringing in Morven Masterton for her first start of the season, alongside Ana Rocha, Tiago Almeida - and Marrit Nijmeijer made her last league appearance of the campaign as she departs for her native Netherlands.

Highbury were slow out of the blocks and, although Moses Hutchinson-Pascal scored from range to leave the scores at 1-1, four unanswered goals left them with an uphill task.

The home side have been competitive in every game this season, and they came right back into the contest with strikes from Ana Rocha, Morven Masterton and Martin Petrie.

But, just when it looked like they were right back in it, Nomads hit back with two goals of their own to go 7-4 up.

Highbury netted five times through Matt Dodds, Petrie, Niccola Hyslop and two long-range efforts from Portuguese player Almeida but, on each occasion, Nomads cancelled out the score with one of their own.

Both teams were defending valiantly, fighting for every ball, but it was attacking prowess that Speck’s side needed.

The offensive play was not forthcoming and two more Nomads efforts knocked the stuffing out of Highbury - with the score at 14-9, they knew there was no way back.

Almeida missed a penalty and another two Nomads goals rubbed salt into the wounds, while Dodds doubled his tally – only to see Nomads extend their lead to 18-11

Highbury, to their credit, did muster a late rally with goals from Petrie, Hyslop and two penalties from Hutchinson-Pascal.

Nijmeijer also registered in her final game, taking her tally to 10 goals for the season underlining what a valuable addition she has been to the club’s promotion challenge.

However, Nomads had the final say as they pushed the winning margin back to four points. Highbury are next in action on Sunday February 2 against Trojans II.

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