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Essex Open suffer disappointing defeat at Linden

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 February 2019

Leah Humphrey in action for Essex Open (pic: Essex Open)

Leah Humphrey in action for Essex Open (pic: Essex Open)

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Premier League Two: Linden 58 Essex Open 35

Essex Open suffered a comprehensive 58-35 loss at Linden on their latest outing in Premier League Two.

Fielding a strong side, Open went into the game hoping to secure vital points in their quest to remain in the league.

To all intents and purposes, though, the game was over at the end of a first quarter which saw Essex trail 19-8.

Rarely had an Open team given away so much possession and failed to win a number of 50-50 balls.

When Essex did manage to create chances, the shooting was not up to the standard set by the impressive Linden team.

Open made several changes at the first interval and for the first part of the second quarter, they kept pace with Linden.

Rochelle Reynolds-Blance had come on at wing defence and was working hard with Isabella Morgan-Smith and Leanne Spencer to stem the flow of Linden attacks.

Just as Essex were hauling themselves back into the game, Linden were able to reel off seven goals without reply to lead 34-18 at half-time.

Further changes in the third quarter saw Open with a different line-up once again and though Essex were more competitive, they were never able to make any inroads into the deficit.

Linden led 48-28 going into the final quarter and while Saffron Hancock impressed on her Premier League Two debut for Essex at shooter, it was a case of damage limitation for Open.

When the final whistle blew, it signalled the end of a difficult game that had seen Essex slide to their biggest defeat since September.

Just five games remain for Open to maintain their Premier Division Two status, with Essex needing wins in at least two of them to survive the drop and avoid relegation from the league.

Next up for Open this Sunday is a home game against high-flying Cumberland.

It looks set to be a tough task for Essex, but they will hope they secure a return to winning ways to give their survival hopes a timley boost as the season ticks towards its conclusion.

Essex Open: Stewart, Odeogberin, Spencer, Reynolds-Blanche, I Morgan-Smith, R Wilks, Edwards, Hancock, Tchine, Hazelden, Humphrey

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