Thoroughbreds made the long journey north on Sunday 19th February to face Oldham, the team currently 14 points clear at the top of Premier League 1.
Oldham fielded a team largely consisting of members of Northern Thunder squad, currently top of the SuperLeague, including 2 current England players.
A good start saw Thoroughbreds turn over Oldham’s centre and then convert their own to take an early lead. Despite considerable pressure from Oldham and Northern Thunder’s GK Kerry Almond, GS Steffi Burt managed to hold her own in the shooting circle as Thoroughbreds fought to keep within touching distance. The score at the end of the 1st quarter was 16-13 to Oldham.
Oldham and Northern Thunder shooters Krista Enziano and Kathryn Turner showed their class by consistently converting their efforts. However, patient play through the court and some audacious feeds into the circle from GA Helene Hall and WA Lucy Cadge enabled Thoroughbreds to stay in contention with Oldham leading 31-24 at half-time.
Both sides made changes for the 3rd quarter with the introduction of Zoe Groves at C and clearly feeling the pressure, Oldham added yet more ‘superstars’ to the court in the form of current international players Emma Dovey and Laura Malcolm. The experience of Oldham’s defence showed as they began to read the play and make interceptions into the circle. Oldham extended their lead with the score 47-35.
Thoroughbreds made a couple of changes for the 4th quarter with Gemma Ashton taking the WD bib and Sophie Hansell moving forward to C. With nothing to lose, Thoroughbreds were keen to finish the game as competitively as they started and showed great energy levels right until the final whistle. Unfortunately, they were unable to narrow the deficit in a high scoring quarter which saw a total of 35 goals scored in 15 minutes, with the final score 67-50 in Oldham’s favour.
Player of the Match: Steffi Burt
Although they may be disappointed with the result, Thoroughbreds can be proud of their performance and will be more determined than ever going into their remaining 3 games.
Thoroughbreds’ next home match is against Team Bath on Sunday 26th February at Taverham Hall School (12:30 pm start).
Report by Jen Purcell and Gemma Ashton