Loreto started the game well, with both teams going goal-for-goal. At the beginning of the game, player of the match, Macala Russell came out with several spectacular interceptions to provide Loreto with opportunities to pull ahead. However, inaccuracy under the post meant that Loreto did not capitalise on these turnovers and Oldham won the ball back, punishing Loreto for some silly errors.
Oldham were clinical throughout the match and looked strong from the offset. Their fluent attacking play and pinpoint passes into the GS, who was their player of the match, was unstoppable at times. Oldham’s whole-court defensive structure was unrelenting and impenetrable, leading to regular turnovers at crucial times. It was Oldham’s shooting duo who were most impressive; they were slick, accurate and composed under the post, converting the opportunities provided to goals. In the mid-court Oldham were very strong, with an England U17 squad member controlling and directing play from the middle.
Loreto played some excellent netball and at times looked as though they were on a comeback. However, the constant pressure from a physical Oldham side saw errors creep in to Loreto’s game, allowing the home side to push on.
Loreto’s shooting circle worked hard to get points on the board, with captain Brogan Slicker taking and sinking most of the goals for Loreto. In attack, Freya Coggins, Lydia Forster and Eliza Rodgus worked tirelessly to get the ball to the prolific GS and in defence an out of position Olivia Woodcock and Macala Russell were combining well to create opportunities for Loreto, however these were just not converted to goals. Isabelle Tyler and Daisy Shea were unfaltering in the WD position, but this was not enough to see them victorious.
At half time Loreto were down by 13 goals and managed to pull this back to 10 at the end of the third quarter. However, Oldham used the new implementation of rolling substitutions to their advantage and pulled ahead, finishing the game strong. Credit to the Loreto players, even though it was obvious at this point that the game was lost, they never gave up.
The final score finished OSFC 53 – 34 Loreto College.
Squad: Macala Russell (POTM), Olivia Woodcock, Isabelle Tyler, Daisy Shea, Eliza Rodgus, Lydia Forster, Freya Coggins, Brogan Slicker (Captain)