Mixed results as Essex Open lose to Linden, but eclipse Met League rivals with ease
- Credit: Archant
Essex Open experienced mixed fortunes in their latest Regional League and Essex Met League outings at the weekend.
A below-par display proved costly as they fell to a 35-33 defeat against Linden in Premiership Division Two.
Poor passing and turnovers saw Essex fall 4-1 down early on, before Rochelle Reynolds-Blanche and Leah Hayzelden combined for four quick goals to make it 6-6. But Linden went on to build a 10-6 lead by the first break.
Three quick goals brought Essex back into contention, as Michelle Stewart and Jasmine Odeogberin excelled in defence with support from Zoie Humphrey.
And they edged 15-14 ahead, with Rose Morgan-Smith and Sam Lawrence giving Hayzelden and Reynolds-Blanche support to make it 20-17 at half time.
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The third quarter saw Essex maintain the gap at 27-24, before Linden scored four quick goals to edge ahead.
And a 6-1 run in the final quarter put Linden 34-29 up, with some a late fightback from Essex proving in vain.
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There was better news against Eclipse, as Essex rallied from 3-1 down to move 6-3 up on the way to a 14-12 lead at the first break as Reynolds-Blance and Hayzelden began to find their range.
Eclipse took advantage of a slow start to the second quarter to draw level at 16-16, but Essex moved Odeogberin to goalkeeper and Sarah Cambell to goal defence and it paid off.
Essex scored 12 times and only conceded twice to move 29-19 up by half time, with the two sides trading goals in the third quarter.
The gap grew slightly to 44-32 and Essex remained in control as Louise Acons replaced injured Hayzelden in attack and linked up well with Lawrence to find the net regularly in a 56-38 victory.
Essex Open B took a consolation point from a 64-37 loss against New Cambell Green.
Nicola Avles, Nicola Wilks and Rebecca Meade worked hard in mid-court, as Lauren Dawkins and Cambell toiled in defence.
Acons and Sofia Sefton had some success in the second quarter, but Essex could not make serious inroads into Cambell’s lead and were well beaten.
The C team beat OPA Vets 42-31 and remain unbeaten and top of Division Three, while the E team had a 36-30 win over Aeonians.
But the F and G teams lost to Woodford Warriors and OTs respectively.