Leeds Athletic made the short trip over the Pennines to Hathershaw Sports Centre for a fixture that’s always a tough war of the Roses contest. It was the home side that started the brighter, egding ahead in the early stages with some good attacking play from Laura Malcolm and Maria McAndrew, who were finding shooters Kathryn Turner and Krista Enziano with ease. But for several handling errors in the circle Oldham could have extended their lead further at the end of the quarter. They led 16-12.
However, there were early signs that Oldham were struggling to stop the ball getting to Leeds’ tall shooter Jo Walker, even if the away side were struggling in attack they always had an easy outlet to Walker. So at the quarter time break Oldham made early changes with Georgie Webster replacing Sarah Carter at Goal Keeper while youngster Helen Housby came on for Enziano at shooter. Again Oldham started the quarter brighter and extended their lead with Beth Cobden, Malcolm and Emma Dovey combining well in defence turning the ball over on several occasions.
At half time with the score at 32-23 Oldham made further changes with Rachel Henry coming on for McAndrew at wing attack and Rachael Taylor giving Cobden a well-earned rest. The changes seemed to affect Oldham’s flow, and the Leeds defence took advantage of this stopping the flow of the ball into the circle. The home side lost their momentum and movement and subsequently lost the third quart 14-11.
Going into the final quarter and the threat of a Leeds comeback Oldham reintroduced shooter Enziano to the fray and having had time to reflect came on with a point to prove. She quickly got back into her stride and helped to reinstate Oldham’s momentum. Enziano combined well with Housby who moved to the goal attack position, Housby, clever for such young player linked the attack beautifully and surely has a bright future ahead of her. Oldham closed out the game winning 60-51.
Coach Debbie Hallas said: “I was pleased with the result and some individual performances, however, we struggled to be consistent throughout the full fifteen minutes of a quarter. We need to improve on this with some important games on the horizon.”
“I was particularly pleased with Laura Malcolm and Helen Housby today, Laura is showing more maturity in the centre position and Helen was particularly impressive when she moved out to goal attack.”
Squad: Sarah Carter, Emma Dovey, Beth Cobden, Laura Malcolm, Maria McAndrew, Kathryn Turner, Krista Enziano, Helen Housby, Rachel Henry, Rachael Taylor, Alice Travis, Georgie Webster
Oldham’s next match is away to The Downs of Surrey to be played at St. Mary’s Sports Arena, Twickenham.
League table: http://www.englandnetball.co.uk/competitions/2012-13/premier-league-1/standings_60