Oldham have been struggling to get a good start and maintaining it over the past few weeks so this was going to be a focus for the home team. The team started strongly and they were 5-0 in the first couple of minutes. It took the visitors time to get used to the speed of the Oldham attack with Kathryn Turner and Rachel Henry moving the ball quickly to into Housby at goal shooter. The visitors did start to find a bit of a rhythm but the Oldham defence were making it difficult for them to get the first ball out. A high scoring first quarter saw Oldham build a lead of 19-8.
The Oldham coach Debbie Hallas reshuffled the back a bit with Marshall coming on at centre and Beth taking the wing defence position. The changes took some time to settle and the ball struggled to move through the court as freely. A time out by Henry in the quarter allowed a few words from the bench to be exchanged which seemed to do the job. This was a stronger quarter for the visitors who seemed to have upped a gear and restricted Oldham to just 13 goals, at half time Oldham led 32-17.
At half time it was key that Oldham continued to pile on the pressure in defence and keep up the same intensity in attack. Alice Travis was introduced to goal shooter and Housby moved out to goal attack, providing a lot of height in the circle. In this quarter the inexperience of the Oaksway attack showed and Emma Dovey and captain Kerry Almond forced them into mistakes. Marshall at centre was finding some great space through court and bringing the ball into the attack well. This was another high scoring quarter for Oldham and the lead was stretched out further to 50-25.
Going into the last quarter Almond was replaced by Dovey at goal keeper and Turner replaced Henry at wing attack. Again the changes to time to settle and Oaksway were pushing for goals so they could secure a losing point for scoring more than half. Oldham seemed to have slowed down in both attack and defence which allowed Oaksway more opportunities. Oldham finished the game drawing the last quarter with a final score of 64-39.
There is a week off for Oldham however they then face a difficult trip to New Cambell in Essex who they drew to last season.
Coach Debbie Hallas: “It was great to welcome back Helen Housby from England duty and she played her first full game since the Grand Final. I was pleased with the performance and we are building momentum going into a crucial game against New Cambell, always a tricky opposition.”
Starting 7: GK Kerry Almond GD Emma Dovey WD Georgie Webster C Beth Cobden WA Rachel Henry GA Kathryn Turner GS Helen Housby Subs: Alice Travis, Gabs Marshall,