WINDSOR Netball Club have started the New Year just as they left 2018 - with a victory in defence of their Premier Division title.

The defending champions beat Phoenix Pinkz 37-32 in a match that involved speed, accuracy and injury at Kidwells Park in Maidenhead on Monday evening.

Windsor were under pressure to maintain at their lead at the top of the table and, in their first match back after the Christmas break, they started strong to lead 11-5 at the end of the first quarter.

Yet their pace slowed in the second period as Phoenix improved into the game, narrowing the deficit to 15-9 on the whistle.

During the half-time interval, both teams discussed tactics and deployed strategies to improve their game as well as find their pre-Christmas rhythm.

The team talk paid dividends for Phoenix as they fought back and scored three successive goals at the start of the third quarter.

Windsor were behind and appeared to have lost their focus when their determination kicked in, helped by further communication and encouragement on court.

It was goal-for-goal for the remainder of the third period and a tense atmosphere was building.

The final quarter brought an incredible move from the Phoenix WB. She stretched over the goal third line to hold the ball and avoid going offside and kept possession for her side.

Minutes later, a cross-court chest pass in the centre third sent both teams WD to collide, with the Windsor player landing on one foot and crashing to the floor.

The game was paused and injury feared with everyone on court expressing concern over her ability to continue.

She came off court but was able to rope in a player on the sideline who was waiting for a game to start afterwards.

The spirit of comradery and sportsmanship was strong, which makes the Maidenhead District Netball League such an enjoyable one to watch.

Windsor held on for the win and face a tough match against Sevens next Monday.

In the first game back after a long Christmas break, both Blue Swifts and B52s struggled to get their first goal through the net.

After fighting hard and accurate shooting, B52s led 7-5 at the end of the first quarter.

Blue Swifts re-grouped and, with some strong circle defence and fast mid-court play, were able to successfully reduce their opponents opportunities and went ahead 16-12 in the second period.

Even with some excellent interceptions and defending from B52s Goal Defence Bex Covey, plus a continued hard effort from the side, they were not able t keep up with Blue Swifts who won the game 35-26.