Essex Open relegated after defeat to Clan
PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 March 2019
Premer League Two: Clan 70 Essex Open 58
Essex Open saw relegation from Premier League Two confirmed following a 70-58 defeat away to Clan.
Things were always likely to be tough for Open who were without Michelle Stewart through injury as well as three players who were in action for London Pulse in the Vitality Superleague.
To their credit Essex fought hard throughout the game and in the very early stages matched Clan goal for goal, but trailed 18-14 at the end of the first quarter.
Though Rebecca Wilks, Isabella Morgan Smith, and Sam Lawrence worked hard to keep Open in contention, Clan held a 39-28 advantage at half time.
Essex began the third quarter brightly to move within seven, but Clan rallied to go 57-44 up heading into the final period.
If there was some solace to be taken from the loss, Open were at least able to win the final quarter 14-13, demonstrating how they never gave up despite the result.
When the final whistle sounded, relegation was confirmed for Essex just a year after winning promotion from Premier League Three.
Open will now look to rebuild before the start of the next campaign as they bid to return to Premier League Two at the first attempt.
Open: Stanley, Campbell, Simpson, R Wilks, Lawrence, I Morgan-Smith, Hancock, Alves, Hayzelden, Tchine.
*Essex Open A recorded an important 60-51 success over New Cambell Blue in Essex Met Division One, despite not being at their best.
Open struggled in the first half and were 30-27 down at the break, before improving in the second half to eventually triumph.
Divisional rivals Essex Open B, meanwhile, suffered a narrow 45-43 in their match against Leyton A.
The teams were evenly matched throughout and though Open led 42-41 during the final period, they could not see their advantage through to the end.
There was an all-Essex Open battle in Division Four as the C team beat their D rivals 48-41.
The victory was an important one for the C squad as it guaranteed promotion to Division Three for next season.