It was Oldham who started the brighter, with some fast movement through court by Maria McAndrew and Amelia Hall, supplying shooters, Krista Enziano and Kathryn Turner with opportunities, which they scored with ease, once again showing their almost telepathic understanding, to which the Leeds defence had no answer. At the other end of the court, the Oldham defence stemmed the flow of ball though to the Leeds shooters with some excellent pressure from Susie Armstrong, Emma Dovey and Abby Tyrell at Wing Defence. The quarter ended 19-9 to Oldham.
Kerry Almond replaced Susie Armstrong at Goal Keeper and Oldham continued to build their lead. Leeds moved their experienced defender, Lauren Potter, from Goal Keeper to Goal Defence in an attempt to stop Oldham’s flow but the home team continued to apply pressure winning the quarter 15-12 and taking a comfortable 34-21 lead into half time.
Changes at half time saw Lucy Stevenson replace Kathryn Turner at Goal Attack and Susie Armstrong took over from Emma Dovey at Goal Defence. Oldham’s through court play had slowed down and they were finding it difficult to deal with the physicality of the Leeds defence. Leeds began to come back into the game, although some unforced errors from them saw the quarter drawn 10-10.
Oldham had lost their way a little. Ebbie Danson-Chapel had a fine premier league debut and was busy in centre court but it was Leeds who could sense a comeback and quickly transitioned the ball to their shooters, who had now found their range, at one point scoring six consecutive goals. Uncharacteristic mistakes from the home team saw Leeds win the quarter 9 – 12.
Although the outcome was never really in doubt, Oldham made it hard for themselves and were happy to take the five points to start the new year.
A special mention should go to Krista Enziano with shooting stats of 30/32 (94%) and, player of the match, Maria McAndrew, who once again showed great energy and creativity in mid court and put in another solid performance for her team.
Coach Debbie Hallas commented: “We fired out of the blocks today, we wanted to get out in front early which is what I asked for especially after the Christmas break, and put Leeds on the back foot. This enabled me to get the whole squad on court and valuable court time for our younger players. Maria McAndrew was outstanding today, her quick thinking decision making is amazing to watch. Krista Enziano and Kathryn Turner also put in great, leading performances in the shooting circle.”
Starting 7: GK Armstrong, GD Dovey, WD Tyrrell, C McAndrew, WA Hall, GA Turner, GS Enziano
Subs: Almond, Stevenson, Danson-Chapel
Player of Match: Maria McAndrew