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Prem Update (17th Oct 2022)

The latest update with Courtside Comments.

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Round 3 – 17 October 2022

League 1

Even as early as entering Round 3 Oldham and Academy were the only two sides boasting a 100% record, such is the competitiveness of the league this season. Home advantage was with Oldham as Academy travelled North with a strong squad to meet an Oldham team that could afford the luxury of starting players the caliber of Abby Tyrell and Ruby Parker on the bench. It didn’t take the home side long to get into their stride with shooters Berri Neil and Amy Clinton soon setting about their work to open up, at quarter time, a 17-7 lead in a game that had all the pre-match signs of being a close one. If anything Oldham were even better in the second period, taking it 19-8 to lead at the break 36-15. Oldham took the opportunity to give all their subs a run out but the changes in personnel didn’t affect the overall feel of the match too much although Academy outscored their hosts by five in the second half. Oldham ended up winning by 62-46. Shooter Berri Neil was Player of the match.

YWCA Bury, what had suffered a rare home defeat last weekend, to Oldham in a local derby, made the long trip down to the West Country to face a Hucclecote side that had been beaten away to Charnwood last time out but had won their home match against Turnford in the opening round. After even opening exchanges Bury went on an 8-2 run to finish the quarter leading 16-9 with returning Roses prospect Lois Pearson showing her class at GA. The hosts were able to put the brakes on Bury in a tied 13-13 2nd quarter but another surge in the 3rd saw Bury build a 10 point lead. Hucclecote mounted a spirited comeback in the fourth with five straight goals of their own but Bury remained out of reach by 4 at full time with the visitors taking the win 56-52. 16 year old WA Katie Rayner was the Opponent’s Player for a typical all-action display, with sister Emma and Lois Pearson taking coach’s and players’ player awards.

Charnwood came into this game on the back of a fine home win in the last round and were looking to build on that. It would be no easy task as they welcomed a Turnford side who had beaten New Cambell last time out. The first quarter was very competitive with fluent centre court play from both sides. Both teams were confident on their centre passes with the early stages of the game going goal for goal, though with the accurate shooting of Emma Thacker and Suzie Liverseidge combined with the tight defensive unit of Jasmine Brown, Bethan Lount and Abi Hymas,  Charnwood managed to end the first quarter leading by 5 (17-12) Charnwood continued to extend their lead in the second quarter with a consistent flow of Kelsie Taylor, Lucy Alexander and a change of Suzie Liverseidge into Centre in the attacking end. Jas Brown and Abi Hymas created lots of turnovers in defence on which the host’s shooters capitalized. Charnwood managed to maintain a consistent score, despite Turnford’s highly pressured play. And led at half time 33-23. Turnford came out fighting in the third quarter and were determined not to let Charnwood extend their lead further. With fresh changes made, adding Evie Watts into the Mix, the new shooting circle were very much unstoppable. Although a few decision errors from Charnwood meant Turnford scored multiple unanswered goals towards the end of the quarter and played exceptionally well to pressure Warriors into mistakes. However, Charnood did well to maintain their rhythm and stretch out their lead. The third quarter finished 48-33. Despite the lead, Charnwood continued to push on. Turnford’s shooting circle made a huge difference in the final 15 minutes, scoring 19 goals. A few silly errors began to creep in from Charnwood, potentially due to fatigue, allowing Turnford to creep back into the game, although time was very much against them. A new player into Charnwood’s defensive circle was injected into the game, with Melissa Sargeant subbing in for Jas Brown for the last 6 minutes. This new defensive unit managed to come up with multiple turnovers, which was capitalised by the mid court and the shooting team. Despite Turnford efforts, and them winning the quarter 19-15, Charnwood took the overall win with a final score of 63-52. The hosts showed that they have quickly come to terms with League 1 as they emerged with a well deserved victory;  Loughborough Lightning star Emma Thacker taking the POM award and that result puts them 3rd on GD in the table.

Leeds Athletic went into their home match against Tameside having suffered two defeats in the previous rounds, last time out they were unfortunate to just miss out against Academy 52-50. They welcomed a Tameside team fresh from a good win over Weston Park Blades in the last round. A close first quarter went to the hosts, 14-11, and it got even better for Leeds as they took the second period 14-7 to lead at half time 28-18. A high scoring 15-15 draw in the third meant that Tameside had it all to do if they were to come away with a win but Leeds, desperate to get that first victory under their belts, were in no mood to let this slip as they took the last quarter 13-12 to record a much deserved 56-45 victory. Annie James was the Leeds POM.

Weston Park Blades were also searching for their first win as they welcomed New Cambell to Sparsholt College. The visitors had won one, lost one so far and were looking to get a win that would keep them closer to the top of the table. First quarter was extremely close with both teams finishing equal at 15-15. Blades finished Q2 with a 6 goal lead with shooters Kat Flynn shooting 92%  and Pippa Dixon 90% to help their side to a 36-30 half time score line. A close, tied 13-13 third quarter meant Blades went into the last period with that 6 goal lead intact but New Cambell fought back superbly, it was a battle till the last with the visitors coming back within 1 in the final minute. Blades just managed to hold the lead and took the win on the final whistle, 61-60. Pheobe Maslen and Jayda Pechova both had time in some new positions C and GD, Jayda is preparing for her tour in the next few weeks with the England Roses for Fast 5 tournament. The Blades U10 team was there to cheer on their senior team throughout the game. Blades Player of the match: Mia Richie – Mia had incredible energy throughout always being an available option in attack, also took 3 interceptions too! New Cambell player of the match: Paige Mcalla – Paige was extremely accurate on her shot and held her space extremely well in the circle.

League 2

Newly promoted Exeter had, in their first two matches, carried on from where they had left off last season, as two wins had seen them scale the heights in League 2, albeit very early in the season. Round 3 threw up a difficult fixture for them however as they welcomed Linden to the University Sports Hall. After a good start Linden had suffered a home defeat in the last round against Telstars so were looking to get back on track. It started badly for them as they found themselves 9 goals down before impact player Kira Rothwell came to the fore and bought her side back into it with nothing to choose between the sides at half time. A fast paced second half saw both teams create chances but had trouble converting them. A low scoring but fascinating encounter ended with Exeter going to the top of league 2 with a proud 100% record of three wins in a row.

Cumberland, having suffered a narrow home defeat previously, made the trip to the South Coast to face a Sussex Thunder side that had lost their first two matches and were looking to get themselves off the mark quickly. A fiercely contested game saw both teams up for the challenge. First quarter saw a number of turnovers by both teams whilst they worked out their opponents with Cumberland getting a run of goals towards the end to lead 17-13. Second quarter Cumberland had a run of 8 before Thunder replied however they quickly regrouped and after some mid quarter changes began to settle but the visitors took the qtr 18-8 to lead at half time by 35-21. Quarter 3 and Thunder had all the momentum and started closing in, some tactical changes as tiredness crept in were positive for the team in a period they took 16-10. The final quarter started as the third finished and the home side managed to close the gap to 5 however they could not hang on with both teams battling until the final whistle, Cumberland taking the win 59-49. 17 year old Ellie MacAuley made her Prem debut for Thunder with some great shooting in the final quarter and it was great to welcome back Grace Cockill after a few years away from the team. Oppo Pom – Grace Cockill Coaches Pom – Ellen Franks. It was a much better performance by Thunder who are adjusting and progressing with every game.

Worcester Reds had, like Exeter, started the season in fine style recording two big wins and were looking to make it three in a row as they headed off to the North east to face Grangetown. The hosts had recorded a much needed and confidence boosting win last time out away to Cumberland so were going into this home fixture in good shape. They took the first period narrowly, 13-11 but won the second period with a convincing 15-10 scoreline to give them a half time advantage of 28-21. Worcester came out very strongly in the third quarter and reversed that 15-10 scoreline to put the match back within two points, 38-36, and delicately balanced for the final fifteen minutes. It was Grangetown who dug deep and found their best form, running out qtr winners 16-9 to take the match 54-45, a result that leaves both teams on 11 points.

The Downs having suffered defeat in both their matches played host to Telstars who had done the exact opposite and won their first two games, so they travelled with confidence high. A greatly contested game between the two sides saw The Downs hold the lead throughout the game, 7-5, 20-13, 31-19 and finished 39-32 with Telstars fighting hard in the last quarter to try and drag the game back. There were some great individual performances from The Downs with 17 year old Katherine Mansfield being given opposition’s player of the match with her fantastic 4 quarters at GS. Anya Wood received coaches player and Hannah Knights was outstanding at GK and received player’s player. For Telstars Harriet Corbett was their POM.

Team Bath Toucans were another team looking for their first win of the season as they welcomed Oaksway to the Sports Village. The visitors had won one, lost one in their opening exchanges. Bath came out the stronger to take the first period 18-12 before Oaksway settled better in the second, a 13-13 tie to leave the half time score at 31-25. It was more of the same in the third as the side matched each other goal for goal, 12-12. Oaksway were looking to wipe out the Bath lead in the final period and they nearly managed it, they took the final qtr 14-10, just falling short as team bath toucans took their first win of the season, 53-51.

League 3   

All three teams newly promoted to Premier League Netball had started superbly getting early wins under their belts, two of them winning both their games. Eagles, the Berkshire based side welcomed Thoroughbreds to Hook in Hampshire where they play their home matches. The visitors had previously played in 2 very close matches against the other newly promoted teams, coming out on the wrong side of the score line on both occasions. Eagles started the match very strongly, with many passes being turned over in the centre court. The contesting in Eagles shooting circle didn’t put off the shooting duo of Regan Peters at GA and Libby Burgess at GS. From Thoroughbreds centre, Eagles defense put up an impenetrable wall, making it difficult for Thoroughbreds to get feeds into their shooting circle. With 2 and a half minutes to go, Eagles had a 14-0 lead before Thoroughbreds scored their first goal. The first quarter ended with an impressive score of 17-4. 2nd quarter saw a home side change with the Nightingale twins, Jazz and Jemma, coming on at C and WA. Both were working well with Charlotte Maxfield, with all 3 making strong drives through court to deliver the ball to the attack. With the Thoroughbreds doing a defensive double on Libby Burgess, Regan Peters worked hard to feed and shoot with her iconic long bombs. Thoroughbreds were now settling to play their game, finishing with a quarter score of 16-10, and a collective score of 33-14. To start the 3rd quarter, Summer Knight came on at WA, the introduction of Katie Fisher to GD, and Surrey Storm Superleague player Leah Middleton being moved to GK for Eagles. Her 3 foot mark and impeccable timing of her jump meant Eagles defense were turning over lots of ball. Coming back from a quarter off, Sophia Shalabi was quick at picking up loose balls, with beautiful feeds into the circle. The 3rd quarter ended with a score of 45-23 to Eagles. Beginning the last quarter, Eagles were keen to finish off on a high. There was a swap of positions for Katie Fisher and Leah Middleton, and Georgie Maxfield was put on at WA. Eagles’ squad fitness and resilience saw them finish the match with a score of 57-30.  Regan Peters was Eagles Player of the Match as they sit on top of the League, a superb start to the season.

Norfolk United were another team looking to maintain a 100% record as they played hosts to a Ryland side who had had a difficult start against two newly promoted teams.  After going 5 down in the first couple of minutes of the game, Norfolk settled their nerves and grew into the game, so much so they took the first qtr 14-13.  With no changes at quarter time the hosts intercepted a number of balls in both defence and attack as they played with more confidence and patience. Ryland were also giving their all and another close 15 minutes went the way of the hosts who took the second period 14-12 to lead at half time 28-25. Ryland weren’t giving up and were constantly in this match, and it was the visitors who edged the third quarter 11-10 to leave the match on a knife edge, Norfolk leading 38-36. The fourth quarter was intense and thrilling, Ryland were giving this everything but some key interceptions from the home defence proved to be just enough, a 14-14 tie which gave the home side a narrow two point win, 52-50 to join Eagles at the top of the table, unbeaten.

Two promoted teams met in the North West as Trafford, unbeaten in two, welcomed Northants Storm who would have been disappointed to lose a close run game last time out. It was a close game in the first half, the sides going into the break level but second half was a different story as Storm out-ran the hosts with some fast, incisive play to take the win 52-43.

Leyton made the short trip to Basildon to face BSV Billericay with both teams looking to get their first win on the board. It was the hosts who got off the mark early on to lead the first period 11-5. Leyton clawed it back to within one goal at the start of the second quarter and it was nip and tuck from thereon in with Billericay holding a slender 17-15 lead at half time. The third quarter saw the hosts start slow but they eventually got into their stride and by 3rd qtr time that 5 point lead was back, 31-26. The final quarter was a tense, low scoring affair but it was Leyton who came out on top, clawing back that five goal deficit to emerge with a very creditable 35-35 tie.

TFC Leicester headed off to the West Country after winning their previous game at home to Northants Storm in a close run match. Premier Romans were also coming into the game on the back of a win last time out. TFC took an early lead, winning the first qtr 15-11 before Romans came back strongly reducing the deficit to just one point, 27-26. A huge third quarter from the visitors saw TFC take it 18-8 before Romans yet again came back at the in the final quarter. They reduced the lead but not by enough, winning the quarter 13-9 but unable to deny TFC a 54-47 victory. For TFC Leicester, Loughborough Lightning’s Hannah Williams was Player of the match in only her second appearance for the club.

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