The home side made hard work of the first quarter, with the feeds into the shooting circle not hitting the mark and the defensive unit not adjusting to the umpire’s dislike of contest. Hucclecote capitalised on some of the uncharacteristic errors to take an early lead, before Oldham clawed back and took the game goal for goal, eventually going into the break one goal up.
Coach Debbie Hallas opted to make no changes for the second quarter and the seven on court repaid the faith with some outstanding netball. The reigning champions showed why they are so formidable with a 20-5 quarter. Gabby Marshall and Beth Cobden started to assert themselves in the mid-court, with some fantastic tips and interceptions and slick interplay through the court linking well with Maria McAndrew. Shooters Kathryn Turner and Krista Enziano were in imperious form with only one or two shots not hitting the target. Oldham led at the half 31- 14.
For the final quarter Georgie Webster, Turner and Marshall all returned to the court, with Almond, Enziano and Taylor taking a well-earned rest. The changes took a few minute to settle with Hucclecote scoring the first few goals of the quarter before Oldham found their feet and started to gain back their second quarter rhythm. Webster, Dovey and Cobden were picking up any loose balls in defence while Turner was coolly slotting away any shots that came her way. Another good quarter ensured that the home team came away with a commanding win.
Coach Debbie Hallas commented: “We are still struggling with consistency and a poor start, making four changes at half time is a lot to uphold consistency. However, at this time of the season the player’s need court time and I need to see what they can do. There are several that need to step-up now and compete for their places. I was particularly impressed with performances from Kathryn Turner and Krista Enziano in the shooting circle, their stats were second to none. Also Beth Cobden and Gabs Marshall worked well together in the centre court.”
Oldham’s next match is away to second placed Academy of Middlesex on Sunday.
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