Earlier in the season Oldham had a comfortable victory 44-29 against Academy but this was no reason for the girls to take this fixture lightly. Oldham made a flying start netting four unanswered goals with the attack finding shooter Krista Enziano under the post quite easily. Academy soon stepped up their game making Oldham work harder for their ball and the first quarter closed on an even footing at 12-12.
Both coaches took the decision to keep the teams the same going into the second quarter which saw quite a few scrappy patches and unforced errors. The home team did go on a three goal run halfway through the quarter which seemed to lift crowd. Oldham responded well going into the halftime break with some fast interlinking plays from Kathryn Turner and Maria McAndrew, however, Oldham found themselves trailing 22-21 as the half time whistle blew.
Changes were made from both teams for the second half, and it was Oldham that seemed to benefit more from the changes in the quarter which saw some passages of consistent and clinical play. Defenders Emma Dovey, Sarah Carter and Georgie Webster linked well together in defence to pick up some key interceptions which were netted by Travis at the other end. The third quarter proved crucial for the travelling side as they went into the last quarter leading 37-30.
Oldham knew that Academy would come back fighting in the last quarter so it was important for them to keep the pressure on. The final few minutes saw possession switch a number of times and the intensity of which the game had been played in started to show. However by this point it was clear the 5 points were heading Oldham’s way which meant their cushion at the top was extended.
With the final score 40-52, it sees Oldham extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points with a game in hand. At the end of the game captain Rachel Henry said, “We knew this was going to be a crucial away fixture for us in the defence of our Premier League title. I thought we put on the pressure when we needed and pushed ahead in key parts of the game. We always have confidence that when we get the ball in the circle that our shooters will do their job in putting the ball in the net.”
Oldham Starting 7: S. Carter, E. Dovey, B. Cobden, L. Malcolm, M. McAndrew, K. Turner, K. Enziano. Subs: R.Henry, G. Webster, A. Travis.
Shooting Stats: K Enziano 87%, K. Turner 85%, A. Travis 91%