NWLA – Round 4 League Report

Mellor 10 – 6 Leeds
It was a tough game between Leeds and Mellor this week. Leeds got a quick early goal which put them ahead but before long Mellor equalised. Both teams were really hungry for the win and a couple of wild checks led to the refs asking captains to ensure that ‘the aggression was channelled in an appropriate way’. Possession was fairly even but there were some good drives and shots by Mellor in the first half which gave them an 8-3 lead going into the second half. The next 30 minutes were just as fast paced as the first and there were some excellent saves on both sides, particularly considering that both goalies were relatively new to playing in goal. Leeds played an excellent defensive game and held possession well in the midfield and in attack which saw them winning the second half 3 goals to 2. Unfortunately for Leeds it wasn’t enough to clinch the win.

Liverpool 17 – 4 Stoke
Sadly Stoke were unable to field a full team and travelled to Liverpool with 8 players. Liverpool kindly agreed that they would lend Stoke 2 players and an extra ref, and to play the game in quarters with 10-a-side. Liverpool had most of the possession throughout the game but Stoke never gave up fighting. Both teams were very focused in attack but Liverpool found it relatively easy to capitalise on their attacking moves and lovely goals came from Coral Evans (top goal scorer) amongst others. Liverpool’s MVP was Charlotte Clulow for her impressive play all over the field. MVP for Stoke was Eden Atkinson.

Brooklands 9 – 8 Oxton
Brooklands travelled with their strongest squad and had confidence that if they played their best they would have a good chance of winning. Brooklands’ Lydia Hewitt scored first after winning the draw with a great feed from Flora Whyte. Oxton had a very young team, including 12-year-old Emma Cooke, and had no substitutes. That said, Oxton had some lovely goals and well-worked play around the goal, passing and cutting really well. Moments before half time Brooklands were in the lead by 1 goal but Oxton managed to equalise before the whistle. The game was very end-to-end, with Brooklands and Oxton both defending really well. In the second half, Brooklands went up by 3, making it 7-4, with goals from Janika, Flora and Lydia (showing how spread out the scorers were). Oxton scored another one bringing the score to 7-5, and like in the first half, the scoring continued to alternate between the two teams. With 4 minutes to go, Brooklands’ Kate Walker scored to make it 9-8. Brookland’s MVP was Emilie Chandler who had an amazing game in goal with some brilliant saves, with Louisa Brophy coming a close second, scoring two great goals, cutting well and finding space. Emily Kealey was Oxton’s MVP, she had some superb stick skills and great goals.

Timperley 20 – 6 Stockport
Both teams found the game enjoyable and played in good spirits. Timperley started out strong. Arguably Stockport should have had a few more on the score sheet as they had a lot of opportunities, but had several shots off target. Timperley were without a number of key people but there were some impressive replacements who stepped up to the mark, Captain Emma Economou moved to attack and led the team well. Throughout the game Nicola Swallow controlled the draw well which meant that Timperley maintained the majority of possession. Emilly Hall worked tirelessly in midfield for Timperley and they saw a great debut from new goalkeeper Charli Musgrave. Ellie Gosnay was once again Stockport’s top scorer, consistently good and pivotal in the team. Elizabeth Steeples, one of their juniors new to the senior squad, exceeded all expectations – she equalled a strong opposition in defence and midfield particularly, with intelligent movement and displaying excellent stick skills. Special mentions to should also go to two Stockport players who did a half each in goal: Faye Cox and Hannah Wicks. Top scorers for Timperley were Nicola Swallow and Emma Economou with 4 goals each.

Heaton Mersey 12 – 2 Newcastle
As always Newcastle were accommodating, agreeing to match numbers when Mersey were missing a few. The game was played 11-a-side and, despite the score line, was a tough game. The game started off with 4 quick goals to Heaton Mersey with some newer faces taking the spotlight. The Heaton Mersey defence was tested, as Newcastle were relentless in their controlled attack, moving the ball around. An excellent fast break by Sophie Baird allowed Newcastle to score their first goal. Patience for Mersey paid off and their midfield soon came into their own – Harriet Pritchard, Jenny Abbot and Bobbie Morris didn’t stop running all game. Every time the ball came through the midfield Mersey was a real threat. The 2nd half was tough for Mersey without subs, Newcastle capitalised on their tired legs and were persistent chasing everything down. Newcastle’s defence came back stronger and louder in the second half allowing them to keep out many of Mersey’s attackers. Excellent work from the team allowed Rosie Haggas to score Newcastle’s second goal. Neither team gave up, and despite a 10 goal difference in favour of Heaton Mersey, it felt at every stage like there was only a couple of goals in the game. For her excellent work in defence again this week Olivia Clayton was voted Newcastle’s MVP.