NEMLA – Poynton Shock Stockport & Flags Semi-Finals Preview

The NEMLA Senior Flags semi-finals take place at Manchester Waconians this weekend with Cheadle facing Brooklands and Stockport taking on Poynton. The latter will have added importance following Poynton’s dominant performance over Stockport two weeks ago beating the then league leaders 11-4. The result was without question the biggest upset of the season so far and puts Stockport’s quest for the league title in the balance.

Poynton executed a well thought out game plan, putting the league leaders on the back foot from the very start. They held a commanding 6-1 lead at the half and a 8-1 lead going into the final quarter with the game finishing 11-4 with discipline costing Stockport dearly. The victory displayed an excellent team performance, however goalkeeper Will Baxter was outstanding between the pipes with a 78% save percentage. Jovan Miller was also impressive leading the game in points with 3 goals and 2 assists. To read the full and comprehensive match report please click here (Poynton LC Facebook).

Rochdale also caused a massive upset two weeks ago with an 8-5 victory over Timperley. The result gave the Lancashire club a vital 2 points in their race to remain in the Premiership next season. Cheadle did however hand Rochdale a 15-8 defeat the day before. Heaton Mersey got their revenge over Brooklands beating the Sale based club convincingly 20-8.

At the bottom of the table Manchester Waconians had back to back losses against Timperley (17-5) and also conceded against Poynton. They are now a point adrift from Wilmslow with three games remaining. Wilmslow lost out on a vital point against Sheffield Steelers drawing 11-11. With one point separating the two clubs, a win for Manchester Waconians could keep them in the Premiership next season, the two will meet on April 17th in what could be a crunch match for both sides.

This week, Timperley hosted Poynton on Wednesday with the Blackbirds winning 15-12. Timperley will be back in action tonight against Heaton Mersey with both teams aiming for a top four finish this season, this could be an extremely competitive and exciting game to watch.

Senior Flags Semi-Finals Preview

The NEMLA Senior Flags Semi-Finals take place this Saturday at Manchester Waconians with the big re-match between Stockport and Poynton at 12pm and the reigning championships Cheadle taking on Brooklands at 2.30pm.

In the first semi-final, Stockport will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing performance two weeks ago. Expect them to be more focused and prepared. Poynton are still without captain Sam Russell but as they proved in the last game they have more than enough talent to compete with Stockport.

Poynton were dominant in three key areas in the last game – ground balls, discipline and patience. They won the important ground ball war, they were disciplined in attack, defence and riding. Finally they were patient, they didn’t look to force the ball, they took high percentage shots and held on to the ball for long spells when needed. Stockport must come with a clear game plan, they didn’t two weeks ago and it cost them dearly as did penalties.

In the second Flags semi-final reigning champions Cheadle will take on Brooklands Hulmeians. Cheadle have by their own high standards had a poor season, they currently sit third with two games remaining and will be looking to make a statement in the Senior Flags. Cheadle have a highly experienced and talented squad that should give the Brooklands youngsters plenty of problems.

Brooklands are a welcome surprise in the semi-finals, they have been impressive in spells this season with the highlight being the victory over Heaton Mersey. They have a young and talented team with many players currently on England U19 squad. If Brooklands can utilise fitness and speed in midfield and win the face-off battle they could cause Cheadle problems.

Saturday 2nd April 2016

NEMLA Senior Flags (Manchester Waconians LC) 
12:00 – Stockport vs. Poynton
14:30 – Cheadle vs. Brooklands

NEMLA Stockport Cup (Manchester Waconians LC) 
12:00 – Poynton A vs. Rochdale A
14:30 – Ashton vs. Brooklands A

NEMLA Lancashire Cup (Brooklands LC) 
12:00 – Cheadle B vs. Heaton Mersey B
14:30 – Sheffield Steelers A vs. Mellor A

Sunday 3rd April 2016 

NEMLA Junior Flags (Manchester Waconians LC)
12:00 – Mellor vs. Heaton Mersey A
14:30 – Stockport A vs. Bordman & Eccles

NEMLA David Beesley Cup (Manchester Waconians LC)
12:00 – Manchester Wacs B vs. Brooklands Ex.A
14:30 – Mellor B vs. Poynton B