By Jane Brierly
Timperley 18 – 4 Mellor
The sun was shining and both teams were ready for their season opener! Timperley started well with a few fast break goals from Dani Skelly (top goal scorer) and Nicola Swallow. Mellor were quick in the midfield and particularly strong on the draw but they struggled to convert possessions in the first half. Timperley looked confident in their attacking third and well-worked goals finished by Julie Stott and Amy Burns gave them an extended lead. With the half time whistle approaching, Mellor caused a great turnover, and a strong drive from Paisley Knox led to their first goal. In the second half, Mellor found their rhythm in attack resulting in nice goals from Sarah Hiddleston (Mellor’s MVP) and Miranda Bate. Daisy Jordan played well for them in goal throughout but wasn’t able to stop the Timperley attackers Georgia Greenhaigh, Emma Economou and Laura Stockton. Special mention to Katie Spence and Emily Kynaston who were making their debut for Mellor, and also Rachel Bardsley and Daisy Jordan who return to the team after a few seasons out.
Brooklands 11 – 10 Liverpool
Talk about a hard fought game! Liverpool went up 5-0 within the first 15 minutes, but after calling a time out Brooklands managed to bring it back to 3-5 by half time. Liverpool started strong with some new and returning players quickly gelling as a team. Brooklands’ defence got louder and their well-timed slides kept Liverpool out for long periods. But Liverpool’s attack was resilient; they passed the ball really well around the goal and were making great cuts. Credit to Emilie Chandler who stepped up in goal for Brooklands and made some great saves. Another mention to Lauren and Hannah made their debuts for Brooklands and fitted in so well! Liverpool controlled the draw very well throughout. In the second half, Brooklands regained some legs and continued to power to goal. Brooklands managed to get 3 goals ahead, with some quick goals straight from the draw from Lydia Hewitt (top goal scorer for Brooklands), others including Charlotte Bleackley, Janika Macmillan and Emily Richardson. In the last 5 minutes Liverpool got 2 quick goals but it wasn’t quite enough. This was great first match of the season and I’m sure both Liverpool and Brooklands are excited for their next meet! A special mention to Liverpool’s Alex McDonald for her debut to the team and for her strong and determined team play throughout, and also Jocelyn Robinson who was Liverpool’s top goal scorer.
Oxton 16-4 Stoke
New to the league, Stoke came to Oxton with only 6 players. But Oxton courteously leant them 3 players in order for the teams to play 9-a-side. ‘On loan’ Oxton players rotated every quarter (every Oxton player wore a stoke shirt for at least a quarter) meaning that both teams could get really stuck in to the game. The game was more about fun, experience and getting some early season game play in, not to mention some fitness; 9-a-side on a full-sized field with no subs and the sun shining is pretty hard-core! Zoe Jones deserves a special mention for her performance for Stoke, and Hannah Edmundson who was their top goal scorer. This game was a great example of sportsmanship from both teams. Oxton’s captain Carina was really pleased with her team’s attitude towards the situation and Stoke’s warm reception to each player that joined them. Oxton had an extremely young side out, with mostly U18s on the team sheet, they all did well and it was a first team debut for 3 of their girls: India, Bella and Annie. They all did a great job.
Mersey 17 – 4 Leeds
Mersey were first to score, which prompted Leeds to respond with 3 goals of their own. Mersey quickly regained some momentum and managed to level the score. Charlie Raymer and Jane Haynes (recently returned new mums!) worked well together for Mersey causing another flurry of goals throughout the half, leading to a score of 11-3 at half time. The second half started more positively for Leeds with goals from Milly Pratt and newcomer Emily Jones who caused a lot of good turnovers in the midfield. Other goal scorers from Leeds included Caitlin Walters and Bella Reah. Despite some hard work by the Leeds defence, Heaton Mersey powered through with some impressive play by Fiona Graham and Ludmilla Crowther (joint top goal scorers). It was a clean, friendly game and a great start to the season for both teams! Special mentions must go to Jenny Yates and Elizabeth Riley who made their debut for Mersey, and also to Rachel Bramah who made her first appearance in goal for the team.
Stockport 12 – 2 Newcastle
Newcastle travelled to Stockport to play their first match of the season. It was great to see Newcastle fielding a full team with two extra subs. Newcastle are joined this season by several new players including Olivia Clayton and Jenny Anderton; Sophia Carbutt also returns to the team after a year away. Newcastle started the match strongly, Greta Wood played centre for the first time and had some awesome draws against some of Stockport’s more experienced players. Possession was fairly even at the start of the game. Newcastle had some impressive movement in their attack. That said, Stockport began to dominate in the midfield and were able to transition the ball back into their attack and convert some nice goals. They played really well together as a team with six goal scorers on the score sheet. Ellie Gosnay was the top goal scorer of the day and continues to be a strength within the squad. The half ended with a goal from Newcastle’s Jess Waugh, her first ever goal in a match! Alex Anderson controlled the Stockport attack well and her leadership led to several of the goals scored. Imogen Butler played her first senior game for the club and slotted into attack well looking comfortable on the pitch. Lucie Suthern, another young Stockport player, did a great job within the defence and midfield. In the second half Newcastle were determined to reduce the goal difference but Stockport kept on coming at them. Jess Waugh scored again late in the half for Newcastle, and for her excellent play against Jess was voted MVP.