All eyes are currently on South Africa as England prepare for a Tri-Series against the SPAR Proteas and Trinidad & Tobago. However, in little over two weeks the attention turns to the hottest competition in netball!
Fast 5 returns on November 8th in Auckland, New Zealand and the fixtures have been released. The England Fives start their campaign on Friday afternoon against Australia before a facing off with familiar foes South Africa in the evening.
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Last year saw Manchester Thunder host the inaugural Mike Greenwood Trophy Tournament at The Manchester Thunderdome. Over 600 fans witnessed the hosts walk away with both trophies, a fitting tribute to their former coach Mike Greenwood who sadly passed away in 2011.
Oldham Under 14’s finished the season in style with victory at Yendy’s tournament on Sunday. Oldham looked like a team that meant business from the off with an awesome 19 -1 win against Ryland U14’s. Oldham went on to record five more group game wins against, Oaksway, Ribble, Barr Beacon, Parkside and Imagine 8. The undefeated record and superior goal difference placed Oldham at the top of the league and set up a semi-final against 4th placed Bury.
Oldham made light work of their opponents and recorded an impressive 10-1 win to progress to the final. Local rivals Tameside had beaten Parkside in the other semi-final to set up a derby game for the top honours.
As the crowds gathered around court Oldham looked ready to do the business, Tameside had other ideas and as the whistle blew they came out with all guns blazing. With three quick unanswered goals Tameside looked to be on a charge and Oldham looked shell shocked and struggled to put any meaningful passes together.
A spark was needed to fire Oldham and they got one from the superb Bayley Whittaker (WD) who turned the ball over at the edge of the Oldham circle and began a move that ended with Oldham posting their first goal of the game. Within 60 seconds Oldham had pulled level with Susie Armstrong and Ellie Fitzhugh in defence continually thwarting Tameside’s forwards and releasing the ball back down court. At half time Oldham had a 5-4 lead. The second half was a display of pure awesomeness with 6ft shooter Lucy Stevenson converting 100% of her chances in the final. The forward trio of Morgan Evans, Jasmine Newell and Amelia Hall worked tirelessly and accurately fed the ball into Lucy to convert. The Final score was 11 -5 and Oldham received a great round of applause from the entire crowd at the final whistle.
Squad: Susie Armstrong, Ellie Fitzhugh, Chloe Ross-Brown, Bayley Whittaker, Morgan Evans, Olivia Brown, Jasmine Newell, Olivia Towey, Amelia Hall, Hannah Dahou, Lucy Stevenson. Player of the tournament : Amelia Hall
Oldham put together a team with a mixture of youth and experience to gain some pre-season match play in the annual Dominoes Netball Tournament. The popular event that attracts teams for all over the country took place at Wright Robinson Sports Arena, the home of Manchester Thunder.
Oldham started with an experienced side with National League players Krista Enziano and Kathryn Turner catching the eye as they swept past Norfolk United 14-3. Next up were Trafford Juniors and the Oldham youngsters were thrust into action. Abby Tyrrell made an immediate impact with several turnovers in defence, while Rebecca Hope impressed at centre with some driving runs through the court and quick feeds into shooters Amy Clinton and Amy Neild.
The squad rotation worked in Oldham’s favour as they cruised through the rounds beating Beehive, Brigg, Hills, Retro and Chester along the way. In topping their group in the round robin, Oldham were through to the knockout stages of the cup competition and faced Macclesfield who finished fourth in their group.
Nottingham City Netball Club progressed through their first knockout game and were a tricky opponent in the quarter final as Oldham seemed to take their foot off the pedal. In a close first half it wasn’t until half time that Oldham moved through the gears, Maria McAndrew came into her own and very lively in attack playing quick one-twos with Rachel Henry to feed the shooters who started to slot the ball home with ease.
Having already beaten the juniors, Trafford seniors looked a tougher prospect having progressed to the semi-final. After an initial physical contest Oldham were clearly too strong and at half time made changes with 15 year olds Clinton and Hope coming on to finish the job and keep legs fresh for the final.
Home team Dominoes were the opposition for the final, also National League team and recently promoted to division two it looked a well matched game. It started that way but Oldham soon started to move through the gears with McAndrew in great form driving the attack. While Kerry Almond and Abby Tyrrell were solid at the back. Ebbie Danson-Chappell came on at half time to mark the Dominoes wing attack who was having an impact in the Dominoes attack. The tactic worked plus with McAndrew, Henry, Turner and Enziano on fire in attack Oldham went on to win comfortably 11-4.
Coach Debbie Hallas said: “It was great to work with a squad with such a mixture today, the youngsters from our under 15’s squad gained valuable experience playing with members of the Premier League squad and certainly didn’t look out of place. The future is certainly looking very bright.”
Winners U9’s Oldham Tournament Round Robin Results Oldham Owlets U9’s 16 – 0 Saddleworth Seahorses Oldham Owlets U9’s 9 – 0 Deeside Dolphins Oldham Owlets U9’s 13 – 0 Saddleworth Sealions Oldham Owlets U9’s 6 – 2 Oldham Sparrow Hawks Oldham Owlets U9’s 12 – 0 Inferno Ignite Squad: Emma Fletcher, Rachael Woodcock, Lily Mundy, Louise Hutchinson, Imogen Rafferty, Ella Dibden, Helena Robinson, Chiara Eckersley, Hannah Diamond The Owlets took the tournament by storm at a fast and furious pace. Strong defence from Hannah, Ella and Chiara; good linking play from the middle trio of Helena, Lily and Louise and shooters Imogen, Emma and Rachael who all had an eye for goal. The great shooting combination of Rachael and Emma worked well and together they made some mature decisions about when to shoot and when to pass to the player in a better shooting position. They were fed skilfully by Lily, Louise and Imogen throughout all the matches with some quick passes which left the defenders standing. Constant interceptions by Helena at WD and Ella at GD stopped the opposition getting the ball into their half and amazing defensive play by Chiara and Hannah who, along with Ella, only let in 2 goals all tournament!!! 56 goals scored and 2 conceded! Exceptional skills shown up and down the court.
Oldham headed down to Redbridge in Essex hoping to match the success of the senior squad national premier league title and the u16 national champions title. Their campaign started with the first group match against conquerors with a 28-12 win. Followed by Charnwood sapphires who failed give Oldham any kind of competition. Oldham clocked up a 50-0 win. Next up was grange town where Oldham cruised through with a confident 32-10 win. Day 1 ended with a final win against Windsor royals 20-7.
Greater Manchester Tournament Under 14s Oldham U14’s came out on top of the2013 Greater Manchester County tournament. This year saw a round robin event with eight teams all facing each other. Oldham started like they were there to get the job done with an awesome performance against Trafford Red winning the game 15 – 4.
Oldham remained unbeaten over the 7 games recording big wins against, Denton, Lesan, Rochdale, Trafford Blue, Bury A and Bury B scoring 108 goals and conceding only 21. Oldham had brought the full squad to the event and managed to use all 14 players which shows just how strong this impressive squad is. Next up for the U14’s is a trip to Essex to compete in the National Finals.
Squad: Susie Armstrong, Ellie Fitzhugh, Neve Pollit, Elinor Hull, Chloe Ross – Brown, Bayley Whittaker, Olivia Brown, Morgan Evans, Olivia Towey, Jasmine Newell, Amelia Hall, Hannah Dahou, Lucy Stevenson and Rachel Fitzsimmons.
Greater Manchester Tournament Under 11 Falcon’s Squad Alex Lovatt, Amy Stott, Bryonni Harrison, Danielle Rhodes, Eve Parker, Hannah Cusack, Hannah Fletcher, Jess McDermott, Katie Mundy, Lucy George, Nell McKee, Rebecca Tudor.
General Statistics Played and won five league games Vs Bury Purple – Won 8:0 Vs Pink Lynx – Won 8:4 Vs Trafford Red – Won 16:2 Vs Chester Diva – Won 9:0 Vs Bury Red – Won 22:0 Played Denton in the semi final and won 9:5 Played Tameside in the final and won 7:3 Shooting Satistics Rebecca – 43 from 58 = 74% Hannah F – 33 from 51 = 65% Danielle – 3 from 3 = 100%
Match Report Oldham Faclons (under 11s) took part in their second netball tournament of the season and making full use of squad rotation scored 63 goals to win all 5 leagues games, then beating Denton in the semi final 9:5 which set them up in the final against Tameside.
Both Oldham and Tameside started the final with strength and determination but the defensive discipline of Harrison, Cusack and McDermott resulted in Oldham overturning two Tameside centres, that along with the agile movement of the attacking partnership of Fletcher and Tudor gave Oldham a 4:2 lead at half time.
Oldham kept their team unchnaged going into the second half and the speed, movement and accurate passing from the two middle court players McKee and Rhodes ensured that the ball was played into the shooters at pace and Oldhams lead quickly became 6:2. Tameside continued with their positive play and quickly scored from their centre to bring to the game to 6:3. With two minutes still to play the respective defences became tighter giving the attacking players little space to position for a shot. With seconds to spare a superb run from Fletcher and a defence splitting pass McKee resulted in a goal from under the post and Oldham winning the final 7:3.
Oldhams three attacking players displayed very accurate shooting during the tournament with Fletcher 65% shooting accuracy, Tudor 65% and Rhodes with 100%.