GS Amy Clinton
GA Sarah Brennan
WA Rebecca Hope
C Gabrielle Marshall
WD Rachael Taylor
GD Kate Smith
GK Abigail Tyrell
Bench Amy Neild, Ebbie Danson-Chappell, Amber Hazelton, Charlotte Spence
Opponents Chester were unbeaten going into this game, and with ex-Manchester Thunder player’s Alex Lodge and Amanda Evans and former Surrey Storm centre courter Sophie Morgan in their squad this was going to be our toughest game yet. Oldham were without influential young defender Jess Dale, who had to withdraw due to illness.
Changes were needed at quarter time for Oldham, Amy Neild came on at goal attack, Amber Hazelton came on at goal defence with Kate Smith moving back to goal keeper. Oldham turned over Chester’s first centre pass in this quarter to started better, but once again mistakes crept in and they let Chester gain two goals in a row from our mistakes. Hazelton came on and had a real impact, pressuring the goal attack on the ground and making it really difficult for her to get into the circle. Neild and Gabby Marshall started to find shooter Clinton with ease, allowing her to put the ball in the net for Oldham.
Oldham took a little time to adjust to the experienced Lodge who at goal keeper was doing a good job of keeping the attack at bay, but once Oldham played patiently and worked the ball round the attacking third it worked really well and they started to gain ground on Chester for the first time in the match. Wing defence Rachael Taylor was again ‘silent but deadly’ on her wing attack as she worked the ground hard and did not let her have much space. Once again shooter Amy C was prolific with a 100% shooting record and scored 11 out of 11 in the quarter. Oldham won the quarter by one goal taking the score to 21-30 to Chester.
At half time Ebby Danson-Chappell was introduced for some speed at wing attack and settled quickly into the game, playing the ball back allowed Oldham to settle and make the right decisions. Neild was effective in attack and worked well in rotation with fellow shooter Clinton. Oldham were finally playing with more consistency and filled with determination winning the quarter by three goals taking the score to 36-42.
Going into the last quarter Charlotte Spence came on at wing defence for her first game of the season. Having impressed in training Spence was given an opportunity with Taylor being rested in line with her come-back from injury. Spence started spectacularly with a flying interception but Oldham lost their consistency probably down to the lack of experience on the court towards their opponents, Oldham’s average age was only 17. It was Oldham’s last chance to test Chester but it was not to be as errors crept in as tiredness started to show. The final score 48-61 to Chester.
Coach Suzy Chapman commented: “Amy Clinton played against the toughest opponent on court and got 93% of her shorts in, which is fantastic! Gabrielle Marshall was player of the match for Oldham, she was calm, defended hard and fed the shooters some excellent feeds.”
“We have a week off now and it gives us a couple of training sessions where we have plenty to work on.”