Netball: Essex Open take over at top of Mizuno Premier Division Three with win at Leyton
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 February 2018
Mizuno Premier Division Three: Leyton 44 Essex Open 47
Essex Open moved to the top of the Mizuno Premier Division Three with a 47-44 win away to previous leaders Leyton.
Open were without several key players, but were still able to begin the better of the two sides.
Essex took early control of the centre court with Isabella Morgan-Smith, Sam Lawrence and Rebecca Wilks creating a host of chances for the shooters.
With Tiya Scott-Preston and Maddie Oshodi finding the net early on, Open began to build up a good lead.
However, Essex soon saw their advantage almost eroded as they only held a slender 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second period was played at a tremendous pace, with goals coming freely at both ends.
Essex brought Olivia Tchine on as goal shooter and the replacement made an immediate impact.
Both sides matched each other goal-for-goal in the for the most part of the period, but the final minutes of the quarter saw plenty of action.
Open fell 23-20 behind, before drawing level, but a late penalty saw them trail 24-23 at half-time.
Essex began the third quarter brightly, but were again pegged back by Leyton with the team locked level at 29-29 midway through the period.
Sarah Campbell and Jasmin Odeogberin were outstanding in defence for the visitors, with Leyton finding it difficult to get the ball into the circle.
With Lawrence feeding the ball well into the Open shooters, Tchine and Oshodi piled on the pressure as the visitors led 37-33 at the end of the third quarter.
With the match still all to play for, it was imperative Essex began the final period strongly.
Two quick goals ensured that was the case, and though Leyton worked hard, the hosts could not make serious inroads into the Open lead.
The only blip saw Tchine go off injured late on, but Scott-Preston returned to the court to help ensure that Essex gained a valuable victory.
Success saw Open maintain their unbeaten run this term and also move two points clear of Leyton at the top of the standings.
Essex are next in Mizuno Premier Division Three action on February 25 when they entertain Team Jets at the Redbridge Sports Centre.
Open: Campbell, Odeogberin, Wilks, Morgan-Smith, Lawrence, Scott-Preston, Oshodi, Tchine, Biss, Livingstone, Gooden.