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NEMLA Premier Week 1 – Wins for Mellor, Poynton & WACS

Mellor 11 – 8 Brooklands

Mellor played host to Brooklands on the opening weekend with both teams looking to get the season off to a fast start, more so with the new league structure splitting the season in to two parts.

For the 2017/18 season, the top 13 sides have been split in to two Conferences to play each other up until the Christmas break, before the league is reorganised in the new year with half the sides contending for the title and others fighting for positions and to stave off relegation.

It was Brooklands who started the game the stronger, taking command with some good work at the face-off establishing a 2-1 lead in the first quarter before Mellor began to wrestle control.

Some quick movement of the ball, accurate passing and quality finishing in attack from Dan Watson and Will Sugden in particular, gave Mellor an 8-4 half-time lead.

Brooklands came out firing after the break and clawed the deficit back to 9-7 but were guilty of failing to take advantage of a number of man-up opportunities, thanks in no small part to Mellor’s new overseas recruit Alex Naftal in goal finishing with a highly impressive 14 saves for the match.

After seeing off the Brooklands charge in the 3rd, Mellor were able to see the game out in the latter stages and ran out 11-8 winners.

Mellor play at home again this weekend taking on Rochdale, while Brooklands welcome Sheffield University over from Yorkshire.

Boardman & Eccles 9 – 10 Poynton

2017 Senior Flags champions, Poynton, were given an early season scare by Boardman & Eccles.

After finishing 3rd in the Championship last season behind Cheadle and Stockport’s ‘A’ sides, Boardman relished the opportunity to take on the top side in the new league structure.

And Boardman ran with Poynton all the way, missing an opportunity in the final seconds to salvage a draw and Poynton escaped with the win, 10-9.

Poynton travel to Cheadle in a big early season clash against last year’s Premiership champions with Boardman & Eccles having a rest week.

Manchester WACS 9 – 8 Norbury

Manchester WACS recorded a confidence boosting win on the opening weekend at home to Norbury.

WACS suffered a difficult season last year in the Premiership finishing (0-18) but will be hoping this victory bodes well for a better season this time round, after sneaking past Norbury 9-8 helped by 80% face-off success and 11 saves to get the long-awaited win on the board.

WACS will look to continue the winning streak at home to Heaton Mersey, Norbury taking on Sheffield Steelers.