The first quarter was the difference for Oldham. The home side started brightly, with turnovers, but the attacking end failed to click with stray passes and loose shots. Academy's attack were playing some strong and quick netball and their defence were out muscling Oldham's shooters in the early part of the game, taking an early 6-1 lead over the hosts. Some neat play from Oldham saw them close the gap to two goals, but the momentum was short lived and Academy stretched out to take a 16-11 lead at the break.
Coach Debbie Hallas made one change at the half time, bringing on the experienced Krista Enziano at GS to help settle the attack down. Both teams played some strong and fluid netball in the third quarter and for the most part it's a goal for goal affair, with turnovers being traded. Academy lead 38-33 at the break.
No changes again and Oldham start slowly, allowing Academy to increase the lead to 8. But Oldham's experience showed and they cut the lead in half with 4 quick goals on the bounce. The final quarter was a tense affair with Oldham cutting the lead to just 2 and it keeps hive urns between 2 and 1 with the reigning champions just not able to get the killer goal and claw back to level. With less a minute in the clock Oldham were 2 down and scored off their centre. The final centre pass was Academy's and a wayward ball was intercepted by Oldham but a clever and experienced play from the Academy WD to draw a contact on the edge of the circle stopped the shot. Although the home side felt hard done by by the call, the umpire was adamant the infringement was outside the circle, despite the Oldham player being inside the circle and the loss feels even worse. Academy take the win by 1 : 45-44.
Oldham will surely learn a lot about themselves from this game and coach Hallas had this to say: "Obviously I’m disappointed with the result today, it was a fantastic game and a great advert for netball. Our poor start put us on the back foot throughout the game and we were always playing catch up. We had three attempts to level the match and made three unforced errors at these crucial times. Our defence were outstanding and we turned the ball over enough to win the match, however, we couldn’t convert and our shooting stats weren’t at the level required to win the match. My player of the match was a tough call between Jodie Gibson and Laura Malcolm but I think Laura just edged it.”
Team GS A Clinton GA K Turner WA M McAndrew C L Malcom WD J Gibson GD E Dovey GK K Almond. Bench K Enziano A Neild A Tyrrell T Cullen I Darroch