Courtside Comments Round 03
The latest from the Prem with Lee from Courtside Comments.
Game of the day took place in the North West as third placed Oldham played hosts to early table toppers Hucclecote. Netball Europe’s U21 Tournament affected many Premier teams this week but Oldham were back to full virtual full strength after the heroics from their young guns last weekend. A starting attack of Kathryn Turner and Amy Clinton isn’t too bad is it? The first quarter went the way of the home side who took it 16-11. That lead grew in the second period and by half time Oldham held a nine point advantage, 29-20.
Hucclecote played out a strong third quarter and at one point pulled the deficit back to just three points, 31-28 but Oldham as ever, stayed in control despite good pressure from Hucclecote throughout the second half of the match. Oldham took the victory 58-51 to regain top spot as Hucclecote slip to second. The third 100% record in this division also went as Tameside travelled to Turnford. A slightly weakened team including Hannah Williams who was away captaining England U21 to victory came up against a determined Turnford side who were desperate to kick start their season after two defeats. They managed it too with a strong 59-44 win against a Tameside line-up that included Zoe Clifton making her Premier League debut.
Academy took the short trip to the south coast to face Weston Park Blades. Both sides had won and lost a game so far. This was by all accounts an excellent spectacle to watch with the London club taking the spoils in a tight encounter 53-47. Academy joins three other clubs now on 11 points. Just behind them in 5th are New Cambell who made the short trip to face Cumberland in a London & SE Region derby match. The away side made it two wins on the bounce now with an impressive 63-47 win. The final match in League 1 featured two teams yet to record a victory with Grangetown making the journey to Yorkshire to face Leeds Athletic. A tight first quarter saw the visitors lead 14-12. Leeds fought hard but Grangetown maintained their advantage and extended their lead. In the third Leeds battled away and as the teams entered the final period the Grangetown lead was back to two points, 42-40. The final period saw the visitors maintain their composure and some fie shooting saw them take their first win of the season 57-51. You can read Richard Kirby’s excellent in depth match report here.
Four teams went into this round of the competition with unbeaten records. By the end of the day three teams still held that honour. Ryland travelled to Guildford to face The Downs who were looking to record their first win of the season. They didn’t get it though as the away side maintained their place at the top of the league with another impressive win, this time by 52-34. They are just 0.01 of GA ahead of Linden who played hosts to Telstars, another side looking to get their season up and running. A close first half of the match saw Linden lead at half time by 7 points. By the end of the match that lead had stretched to a fantastic 23 goals as they took the match 58-35 with all three used shooters returning excellent figures.
The third team to maintain their record would be decided by the outcome of North East side Oaksway playing host to North West’s YWCA Bury. The visitors were without Liss Scholes and Emilia Roscoe who were away with England’s young Roses but this didn’t stop them pulling out another tremendous performance to take the game by an impressive 57-41. Caitlin Sharkey taking MVP for Bury. The defeat sees Oaksway slip to 5th due in part to Sussex Thunder picking up another impressive win with their young side emerging from a home match with Team Bath Toucans, who are yet to win this season. Thunder victorious with a strong 56-44 victory that shows they have settled into League 2 life very well. The final match in the league found Worcester Reds heading to the South West to face Premier Romans. Reds young squad were yet to record a victory whilst Romans had already won away to Sussex Thunder and suffered a narrow defeat to Oaksway. Again U21 international duties played their part with Romans Morganne Dunn newly capped for Wales over the weekend. Reds came out of the traps quickly and by the end of the first quarter had built up a 19-11 lead that proved to be match defining. A tight second quarter saw them maintain that 8 goal advantage to lead 34-26. Premier Romans took the third period by one point so the Reds lead going into the final period was seven, 48-41. The fourth period followed pretty much the pattern of the second and third with Worcester Reds edging it 16-15 to take the match 64-56. An excellent sounding game that sees Reds get a victory with 15 year old GS Issy Eaton bagging the POM award. Reds sit in 6th with Romans just behind in 7th spot.
It looks like once again League 3 could well end up the closest division as at the end of Round 3 no team has held onto a 100% record. One of those sides, the newly promoted Eclipse travelled to High Wycombe to face Clan. The home side had just too much for their guests as they took the win 59-49 and in doing so claimed top spot in this early league table. Leyton had started with two wins as they welcomed Norfolk United to their home court. The visitors gave a debut to Sophie Thomas who coach Karen Webb described on Twitter as “a very impressive addition”. With all the travelling squad getting court time United emerged with a very impressive 64-49 win, and in doing so move up to second in the table.
Charnwood got off and running last week with a very impressive away win. They were on their travels again in Round 3 as they made the trip down to Devon to face Exeter who were missing Rachael Fee who was away on England duty. It was another good away day for Charnwood too as they took a tight, competitive game 56-48 to move into third spot. With Eclipse and Leyton also on 11 points they were joined by a fourth in Thoroughbreds who played hosts to TFC Leicester and came out triumphant with an excellent 62-38 win. The final match was a local derby as Billericay welcomed Essex Open to Basildon. Both sides were looking to get that first win under their belt. The hosts took the first quarter 16-9 but the second period was much tighter, Billericay taking it by a point to lead at half time 26-18. The home side pulled away slightly in the third period and lead going into the final 15 minutes by 35-24. Another fine quarter from Billericay saw them take the last 13-9 and win the game 48-33. That victory moves them up to 6th in the table that sees seven teams separated by just four points.
Until next time…..