Prem Update (23th Oct 2022)
The latest update with Courtside Comments.
Round 4 – 23 October 2022
Table topping Oldham made the very short trip to Tameside for another one of this season’s numerous North West derby matches. Whilst the visitors boasted a 100% record the hosts had encountered a mixed start, losing two of their three matches thus far. A close first quarter saw Oldham take a 13-8 advantage into the second period where they just edged a hard fought second period 11-10 to lead at half time 24-18. As should be with a hotly contested derby game the match was a physical encounter with some scrappy play from both but neither team managing to get away from the other. Oldham had the better of the third qtr running out 11-8 winners before the final period saw a concerted effort from Tameside who edged it 14-13 leaving Oldham to maintain their winning streak with a 48-40 score line. Tameside coach Phil Thomas said the match was “Another close and well contested Derby game against last season’s champions. A definite improvement in performance but plenty to work on ahead of our next game.” The hosts handed a Premier League debut to Megan Pilkington whilst Amelia Veevers was POM. For Oldham their mid-court Mixed England player Emily Whitehead, who had been nominated Player of the Tournament at the recent Mixed Nationals competition, bagged their POM award for a fine performance at both Centre (sharing duties with England and Manchester Thunder pathway’s Emily Pawlett) and Wing Defence.
Another of the North West powerhouses, YWCA Bury, were also on home soil this week as they welcomed a Charnwood side who had won their last two matches and were sitting just a point behind their hosts in the table. It was a youthful Bury side and the first quarter was an even affair, edged 13-12 by the visitors but thereafter Bury were guilty of committing too many turnovers which were gladly accepted and taken to goal by Charnwood. Past YWCA player Kelsie Taylor had a strong game at centre for the visitors and, despite some impressive shooting from Imogen Turner and Anya Williams, Bury trailed by 7 at half time, 30-23. Despite making personnel changes, the third quarter continued in a similar vein as Charnwood built a 12 point advantage (47-35) before Bury found their connections through court in the fourth to win the quarter by 2 giving Charnwood a 57-47 victory. Bury WA Olivia Gilbertson took home the sponsor’s bouquet as Player of the Game while Charnwood nominated Emma Rayner after another impressive showing at Centre. In return, Bury nominated Evie Watts for her strong shooting performance. Charnwood were, rightly, very proud of Amelia Hughes who at just 16 years old was playing her first match in Prem 1 and playing a full match at GS at that. It was a whole squad effort for Charnwood to take the win, three on the spin, a great start by any standard.
In the other League One games Weston Park Blades won away when they beat Turnford by 51-39 while Academy stayed in second spot behind Oldham with a 69-51 home win over Hucclecote.
Leeds v New Cambell was postponed and will now be played in January.
Exeter suffered their first defeat of the season as they travelled to London to face Cumberland. The home side led throughout the match: 14-9, 25-20, 37-32, final score 50-41. Player of the Match: Osi Imoedemhe (Cumberland GS) while Cumberland handed a debut to Scottish Thistle Lauren Tait. The host’s victory puts them top of the league by one point.
It’s only that point that separates the top five clubs in League 2 as teams are jostling for position early on. Second place is currently held by Worcester Reds who, with Sigi Burger now among their ranks, recorded a strong 75-39 win against Sussex Thunder.
Telstars are another one of those teams battling for top spot after a good start to the season as they welcomed Team Bath Toucans to Dartford. Telstars started off the game really strong against a fast Bath side with accurate shooting from Telstars’ attackers and brilliant turnovers from defence. After building a steady lead and bringing on fresh legs in the second half Telstars were able to push on and win the game 52-33. A huge shout out to Sammy Walton for making her first Prem debut for Telstars. Player of the match went to Princess Alagbala who made a huge impact after coming on at half time. The win puts them 3rd in the league.
A North East derby saw Grangetown head to Hartlepool to face Oaksway for what proved to be a close and tense match. The visitors edged the first qtr 10-9 before opening a lead by half time with a low scoring 9-6 second period. Half time – 19-15 to Grangetown. Oaksway founbght back well as the third qtr got underway and took it 14-12 to cut the deficit to just two points with all to play for. They couldn’t be seperted in the final fifteen minutes, an 11-11 tie gave Grangetown their third win in a row with Niamh McCall their POM with Millie Tinkler taking the honours for Oaksway.
The final fixture in league 2 saw Linden play host to The Downs with the home side taking a 45-35 win.
Looking to hold on to their winning streak Eagles travelled up to Northampton where they faced Northants Strom in their fourth game of the season. Eagles were coming into the game undefeated, so stakes were high. The game started well contested going goal for goal for the first quarter with some good patient play from the midcourt opening up the circle in attack. Going into the second quarter Eagles were 1 goal up. The second quarter saw the introduction of Katie Fisher at GD, and the spirits of the team lifted. Defensive pressure through court was amazing forcing balls off court and great interceptions from Leah Middleton and Charlotte Maxfield, alongside this was some quick midcourt transition and accurate shooting from Libby Burgess which had Eagles 9 goals up going into half time. The girls then carried their drive into the third quarter where the intensity picked up and they extended their lead to 45:33. Eagles continued to turnover and convert ball to extend their lead. Eagles ended up coming away with a 61:42 win. Player of the match went to Regan Peters for her consisted shooting and calmness under pressure in the circle. Four wins from four sees Eagles sit proudly at the top of the League in this, their first season.
Norfolk United took on local rivals Thoroughbreds in a fiercely contested derby game. With Norfolk United sitting on three wins and Thoroughbreds on three loses it was all to play for! A yo-yo game saw lots of changes from both teams to find their rhythm with the lead changing hands multiple times throughout the game. Maria Lutua Rusivakula moved from GK to GS in a game winning change with her great shooting and calm nature earning her oppositions and player’s player of the match. The girls kept their cool and took the win 48-46 making it 4/4 for Norfolk United, joining Eagles at the top of the table.
Trafford suffered their first defeat last time out so were looking to get back to winning ways as they set off for Loughborough to face a TFC Leicester who had won their last two matches. It started well again for TFC as they just edged a tight first quarter 12-11. They took the second period as well, 11-10 to have a two point lead at the break. As can so often be the case the third quarter was match defining, Trafford came out the blocks having made several changes and were superb in taking the qtr 19-7 to turn the game on its head. The home side regained their composure in the fourth period but despite taking it 13-8 Trafford succeeded in keeping the ball safe enough and the damage had been done with Trafford holding on for a thrilling 48-43 victory to go third in the table. This from Trafford: “All of our players put out a solid performance, defence were on fire picking up so many interceptions and tips. Charlotte Ackers was solid in the shooting circle which granted her being awarded the opposition’s player of the match. In the third quarter Anja Faye and Kaedin were able to fire balls into the circle with some flare which excited our travelling supporters and the bench. The atmosphere was exciting from start to finish and the hosts welcomed us with a great match. Coaches player went to Kaedin who showed strength through court picking up intercepts and tips and keeping the ball safe when we needed.”
BSV Billericay moved into fourth place with a 41-30 win away to Ryland who are still searching for that first win of the season. The final game saw Leyton play host to Premier Romans and in a game where the hosts were often behind they managed to fight back to earn a 45-45 draw.
Many thanks to the clubs and contacts who contributed to this review.