Tameside started off strongly and punished a few early Oldham errors to take a short lived lead in the first few minutes of the game. Once Oldham finally hit their rhythm newly promoted Tameside could do nothing to stop them. Taylor Cullen was strong at WD and was giving the Tameside attack a lot to think about. Whilst in the attack, Kathryn Turner was unstoppable at times, taking on the home defence with ease.
A few changes in the third due to the 35-15 lead saw Oldham flow halted slightly but they still took the quarter in style, winning the third with some good strong play once they'd found their feet.
The lead built up by Oldham’s strong performance allowed coach Debbie Hallas to try out some new combinations in the final quarter. The experienced captain Kerry Almond and vice-captain Kathryn Turner were given a well-earned rest as well as player of the match Taylor Cullen.
Lucy Stevenson was given a run out at the more unfamiliar position of goal attack while youngsters Abby Tyrrell and Susie Armstrong paired up in defence.
The wholesale changes affected Oldham’s flow and Tameside won their only quarter of the day by 6. The final score 57-36.
Hallas said: “I was really happy for our first outing of the season, there were elements of rustiness but at times our speed through the court was untouchable.”
“Taylor Cullen was outstanding at wing defence, not allowing the Tameside wing attack to see the ball much, plus plenty of turnover ball. The midcourt combination of Gabs Marshall, Maria McAndrew and Kathryn Turner was a class act, getting the ball through to Amy Clinton who scored an impressive 26 from 28 goals.”
Team: GS A Clinton GA K Turner WA M McAndrew C G Marshall WD T Cullen GD A Tyrell GK K Almond. Bench L Stevenson I Darroch S Armstrong
[Group shot photo credit: Tom Nokes. Individual image is player of the match Taylor Cullen]