Game week four in the NEMLA Premiership, and an understrength Sheffield nearly caused an upset against the champions Cheadle, Timperley get a confidence boost at home against Brooklands and Poynton claim a victory at home against Manchester Wacs.
Sheffield 9-13 Cheadle
Missing five regulars, Sheffield Steelers gave the champions Cheadle a serious run for their money at the Sheffield Hallam Sports Park on Saturday. The league winners would prevail but not without a fight.
The Steelers started brightly and were ahead at the end of the opening quarter 4-3, they would hang on in the second period but Cheadle would go into the half-time break with a narrow one-goal lead.
Cheadle were never comfortably in control of the game, struggling to generate a clear lead, and had to wait until the last quarter to put the game out of reach with a four-goal streak.
The game would end 13-9 to Cheadle but many would argue who else in the league are capable of running a team as talented as Cheadle that close other than Stockport.
Ady Bennett was the star performer for Cheadle, the England International proved how deadly he can be on the crease, scoring four goals from six shots past Sheffield youngster James Clarke who was making his debut stepping in for Simon Jones.
Clarke gained praise from Head Coach Tom Wenham: “Considering he’s been playing for only three years his development has been amazing and he was rightly awarded the man-of-the-match by the team especially for making 12 saves against one of the best offences in the country.”
Ben Lyons was also in fine form for Sheffield scoring four and assisting two more in the game. Other players of merit include Sheffield LDO Jonathan Gill who caused the normally dependable Chris Brady problems at the face-off X coming out on top winning 13 from 23 face-offs.
Cheadle coach Pete Condron knows his team can do better and will be looking for them to bounce back in their next game against Brooklands:
“To be honest we didn’t get off the bus in the opening quarter, and they made us pay for it. “It’s only our second game and we are still trying to find our match fitness, I will be looking for us to find our usual form next week.”
Timperley 20-7 Brooklands
Timperley bounced back from a disappointing result at Stockport last week with a convincing victory over Brooklands.
Captain Mike Armstrong was pleased with his teams performance: “It was a different game from last week, We wanted to use this game to generate some confidence that we lost against Stockport”
Armstrong praised long stick Rory Morris who was making his premier league debut in only his third year playing lacrosse after starting at Manchester University.
“He put in a solid performance considering it was his first game playing at this level, he’s certainly created some issues for me in regard to selection as we have a healthy competition for places within the club.”
With three straight defeats Brooklands sit at the bottom of the premiership, with eleven games left in the season they are not out yet, but they need to kick start their season if they wish to remain a premiership side next year.
Brooklands captain Vince Cara is looking for his team to get better as the season progresses: “We are starting to find our feet and hopefully now can go strength to strength over the coming games. We have some old faces becoming available for selection again which will improve us, I have no doubt we will only get better as the season goes on.”
Brooklands goal scorers included James Ready and Alex Middleton who both scored two, while Jeff Antonucci, Ryan Sweetman and Jack Murray all scored singles.
Poynton 14-5 Manchester Wacs
Poynton were without talisman and captain Sam Russell at the weekend but his absence was not apparent as the Blackbirds dispatched Manchester Wacs in comfortable fashion.
Both sides started slowly with a relatively low scoring first half, ending 4-2, but a fantastic final quarter from Poynton ensured the game was put well out of reach scoring an impressive eight goals and conceding none.
Jamie Butler was Poynton’s star performer with five goals and one assist, Alex Russell continued his fine form with four goals and one assist. Other goals from Tom Brook, Sam Davidson, Rob Hutchinson, Alix Davidson and Luke Johnston ensured Poynton’s second victory of the season.
Manchester Wacs were without face-off man Dave O’Callaghan who has transferred back to Rochdale, but the squad remained largely the same. Goal scorers for Wacs included Matthew Collier who scored 3 while Eddie Owen and Dom Fitzgerald both got one a piece.