Oldham were boosted by the return of some senior players whose availability had been restricted due to the Netball Superleague in previous games. Oldham started with pace and Kathryn Turner commanded the attacking circle supported with the speed of Cobden and McAndrew. The Downs had a tall target in their circle but struggled to capitalise on this due to good pressure from the Oldham defence. At the end of the first quarter Oldham were dominating early and led 17-7.
Going into the second quarter coach Debbie Hallas looked to her bench for a reshuffle and introduced Krista Enziano to goal shooter while Alice Travis moved out to goal attack. The Downs upped their game in the second quarter and started to disrupt the Oldham attack. However, some patience and quick ball movement allowed Oldham to win the second quarter and extend their lead at half time 29-16.
With plenty of options on the bench Jodie Gibson and Rachel Henry took to the court with Turner returned to goal attack. Mistakes from both sides made for a slow start to the second half as both initially struggled to convert their chances. The home side found their rhythm towards the end of the quarter with some speed and accuracy throughout the whole court and at the end of the third quarter Oldham led 41-25.
In the final quarter Oldham once again reshuffled their pack in an effort for consistency and to regain some impact from the game which had become flat. Beth Cobden came into wing attack, Emma Dovey came back to wing defence with Gibson hungry for turnovers in the goal keeper position.
Oldham easily saw out the game by 20 goals 57-47 and now need just six points to secure the Premier League Division One title to make it the fourth season in a row.
Coach Debbie Hallas: “It was a game that I was able to give players plenty of court time, The Downs were not the same team that had such impact last season, so we took our foot off the pedal a little with the game gone. Most importantly it’s five points on the board and we look forward to our trip to fellow northerners Oaksway next Sunday.”
Starting 7: GK Kerry Almond GD Emma Dovey WD Georgie Webster C Beth Cobden WA Maria McAndrew GA Kathryn Turner GS Alice Travis SUBS: Rachel Henry Jodie Gibson Krista Enziano