Oldham started with a strong seven, featuring Jamaican international Malysha Kelly, and duly started strongly, surging to a 4-1 lead. But the month long break since the last game showed and Oldham produced some errors and sloppy play to allow Turnford to gain a foothold in the game and take the lead 5-6. Kelly was working well in the circle with Emma Dovey, creating intercepts and turnovers after a slow start and Oldham started to play some better netball. Gabby Marshall was working well at WD, restricting the Turnford WA to only a few centre passes and was feeding some wonderful long balls in Amy Clinton under the post. Oldham led 14-10 at the break.
No changes for the second quarter for either side, and it started much the same, with Oldham taking the first few goals and then Turnford coming back in to the game. Whilst there were some flashes of the usual Oldham brilliance, they were few and far between and the quarter went goal for goal, ending 27-23 at the half.
Coach Debbie Hallas opted to bring on the experienced Krista Enziano for the second half to calm the attack end down and the change did work initially, with Maria McAndrew trading characteristic passes with Enziano for some good shooting opportunities. Kathryn Turner was working the front of the circle well and linking well with the mid-court and the newly introduced Taylor Cullen was turning over some brilliant ball at WD. Score at the break 39-33
No changes for the final quarter and another tight affair followed, with goals and turnovers traded with regularity. Oldham managed to extend the lead and take the win 51-45
Coach Hallas was happy with the win, although disappointed with the performance “We were definitely rusty after the Christmas break and although we showed flashes of fast flowing netball it was nowhere near consistent enough. Also our shooting stats were not acceptable, not at this level. Player of the match was Gabs Marshall who held the mid court together and showed some excellent feeding into the circle. Hopefully we will shake off the cobwebs and be up for our next challenge in two weeks away to third placed The Downs of Surrey. Results went in our favour with Academy losing to Oaksway which allowed us to move back to the top of the table.”
Starting 7: GS A Clinton GA K Turner WA M McAndrew C I Darroch WD G Marshall GD E Dovey GK M Kelly. Bench: K Enziano T Cullen A Tyrrell.