Oldham started brightly, racing out to a 6-1 lead with some clinical through court play from Maria McAndrew and Iona Darroch. Kathryn Turner was proving to be an excellent link between the two and shooter Amy Clinton, playing some easy pops into the youngster under the post. The defensive unit of Suzy Armstrong, Emma Dovey and Gabby Marshall was working extremely well and the away side struggled to create a breakthrough. When they did, Armstrong and Dovey were putting an incredible amount of pressure on them and snapping up any stray passes or rebounds. Oldham out their foot down and effectively won the game in the first quarter with some explosive netball. 29-6 at the break.
More changes for Oldham for the third, with Abby Tyrrell, Taylor Cullen, McAndrew and Turner replacing Armstrong, Dovey, Marshall and Clinton. The wholesale changes did disrupt the flow for Oldham and resulted in a somewhat scrappy quarter for the hosts but they still edged further ahead, with some free-flowing play at times. Darroch was the drive for Oldham with her quick feet and accurate feeds into the circle, which Turner and Enziano despatched with ease. Oldham led 61-24 into the final quarter.
Armstrong, Marshall and Clinton all returned for the final period, with Gibson, McAndrew and Turner taking a well-earned rest. Oldham’s play improved for the final period with Clinton and Enziano working well together, and linking with Darroch and Marshall to ease the ball into the circle. Armstrong was still providing Oldham with plenty of turnovers and was combining well with Tyrrell, for the first time at this level. Oldham eased to the win and coach Hallas was rightly pleased with the 76-33 score line.
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with our start today, something we are working on. We played some fantastic fast-flowing netball and the person that linked this all together is my player of the match Iona Darroch.”
Starting seven: GS A Clinton GA K Turner WA M McAndrew C I Darroch WD G Marshall GD E Dovey GK S Armstrong. Bench: K Enziano T Cullen A Tyrrell J Gibson