A trip away to second placed Academy was the first real test for reigning Premier League Division One Champions Oldham, the game wasn’t going to be easy with Academy also undefeated. Difficult trips away to Academy in the past meant that Oldham Coach Debbie Hallas was demanding consistency in performance all over the court.
Oldham took an early lead in the first quarter with the attack finding in-form shooters Kathryn Turner and Krista Enziano with ease. Enziano struggled to get her eye in at first but with plenty of opportunities Oldham found themselves leading 8-3 halfway through the first quarter. The defence were working well to force Academy into mistakes and were preventing their attack from forming any rhythm. Oldham were playing some fast-paced netball, true-to-style, but complacency with the final ball meant they didn’t increase their lead and at the end of the quarter and the lead stayed at five, 14-9.
The second quarter saw Hallas introduce Rachel Henry into the attack and Georgie Webster into the defence. Academy started the quarter strongly forcing Oldham's shooters to shoot from further out. No team seem to be able to find their flow and ball seemed to switch possession too easy. Both teams seemed frustrated not to be able to take hold of the quarter and the quarter finished level. At half time Oldham led 25-20.
Hallas chose to make more changes throughout the court but demanded the same intensity throughout the last quarter. Academy had nothing more to give despite reshuffling their team. Oldham's speed through the court was unstoppable at times and interceptions were being taken all through the court. The last quarter saw 30 goals with Oldham taking is 20-10 and pushing their lead even further. The game ended with a very convincing win for the current champions.
Coach Debbie Hallas: “I thought we showed signs of more form and consistency, we played some awesome short and sharp netball at times, we just need to make sure with the final ball into the circle. I was really pleased with the performance in parts and the final score. However, we still made too many mistakes and today we weren’t punished.With each game the consistency is improving and hopefully we will keep building on that.”
Starting 7: GK Kerry Almond GD Emma Dovey WD Gabriella Marshall C Laura Malcolm WA Maria McAndrew GA Kathryn Turner GS Krista Enziano Subs: Rachel Henry, Georgie Webster, Amy Clinton
Oldham now have a weekend break before they face newly promoted Turnford of Hertfordshire at Hathershaw Sports Centre on the 26th of October.