Oldham were without their influential captain, Kerry Almond, after she suffered an injury playing for Manchester Thunder the day before.
It was the home team who were quick out of the blocks, with fast and creative mid court play from Maria McAndrew and Iona Darroch. Krista Enziano and Kathryn Turner continued their fine form to take a three goal lead in the blink of an eye. However, it was in defence that Oldham were at their very best. Abby Tyrrell, Emma Dovey and Susie Armstrong stood firm to frustrate Academy and the quarter ended with Oldham leading with an impressive 19-10 scoreline.
There were no changes going into the second quarter. Patient play and great through court pressure saw Oldham extend their lead to 34-23 going into the half time break.
Amy Clinton and Amelia Hall replaced Krista Enziano and Maria McAndrew respectively at the half time break. The changes did not disrupt Oldham’s rhythm and the home team continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over and ended the quarter with a 46-32 lead.
The scoreline allowed Coach, Debbie Hallas, to make wholesale changes. Emma Dovey and Kathryn Turner were given a well-earned rest. Abby Tyrrell moved back to goal defence and Amy Clinton upto goal attack. Krista Enziano returned to Goal Shooter, Maria McAndrew took the Wing Defence bib and for the last five minutes Lucy Stevenson replaced Amy Clinton at Goal Attack. It was a closer quarter with Oldham just edging it by one goal, giving a final score of 59-44.
Throughout the court, it was a great Oldham performance. As a team they were cohesive and proved just too much for Academy, who became frustrated and undisciplined.
A special mention has to go to player of the match, Susie Armstrong, who continually took intercepts, got tips on the ball and forced misses from the Academy shooters.
It was a happy team, who headed off into the Christmas break top of the league table.
Coach Debbie Hallas commented: “Our strength in depth paid off today, particularly player of the match Susie Armstrong who came in for the injured Kerry Almond. She put in a commanding performance taking 10 interception and seven rebounds during the match”
“We put in a great team performance and put ourselves in a great position going into the Christmas break.”
Player of Match: Susie Armstrong
Staring Seven: GS Enziano, GA Turner, WA McAndrew, C Darroch,
WD Tyrrell, GD Dovey, GK Armstrong