The first quarter started slowly with errors from both teams resulting in Blades taking an early advantage before Oldham settled into their stride with some good attacking netball. Amy Clinton and Kathryn Turner were combining well and making the most of good through court play from Iona Darroch and Amy Neild. Oldham’s defence were working hard with some good play from Taylor Cullen backing up the efforts of Abby Tyrrell and Susie Armstrong and by the end of Q1 Oldham had pulled out to a 17 11 lead.
Changes for Q3 saw Krista Enziano and Jess Dale take to court, giving Clinton and Armstrong a well deserved rest. For the first five minutes goals were traded equally but then Oldham decided to put their foot on the gas going on an 11 goal run without reply from a Blades team who were now struggling to cope with the pace of the Oldham attack and the tenacity of the Oldham defence.
Blades came back fighting in Q4. After a run of good recent results and the influence of several Surrey Storm players, this was always expected to be a tight match and Blades put up a good effort winning the quarter 16 12. However, it was too little too late as Oldham took another win with a final score of 59 51.
With an average age of just 19 years, Oldham ground out a result in what could potentially have been a banana skin fixture. Everyone on court gave their all and, despite some scrappy periods of play, it was a very good win from the young squad. The shooting stats were particular impressive with Enziano 19/19 100%, Turner 18/19 95% and Clinton 22/27 81%.
Coach Debbie Hallas said: “It was always going to be a tough day at the office, we have gone through some rebuilding this season and had a starting seven with an average age of just 18. I was pleased with most parts of their display including the run in the third quarter.”
“Player of the match today was captain Kathryn Turner, who gave an assured display at goal attack. She had great shooting stats and worked hard to link the attack together.”
Squad: GS A Clinton GA K Turner WA A Neild C I Darroch WD T Cullen GD A Tyrrell GK S Armstrong Subs: K Enziano, J Dale