Manchester Mini League Update (Round 1)

Well the sun was sort of shining, and the birds were sort of singing, and everyone eventually found their way to Sale Leisure Centre for the first round of the Manchester (not so mini anymore) League!

Crewe’s opponents for Week 1 were City 1 and Warriors, back to back 40 min matches held along similar lines as last year- although with noticeably more teams entering this time round to open up the event to run over 4 weeks instead of the previous 3.

Match 1 against City started off…… sort of. Despite plenty of shots going up- from both teams- not a single one found the basket for probably a good 5-10 minutes. Unfortunately for Crewe once the ball did find the basket, it was off a City player and seemed to only be a sign of things to come! By half time a thoroughly “warmed up” looking Crewe team were only trailing by a couple but we just couldn’t sink any shots! City’s momentum gained pace in the second half and unfortunately by the final whistle the scoreline was 6-0 (I think). However overall it was a very hard fought match and seemed to be quite close throughout, with some clever interceptions from Crewe and an almost unstoppable domination in collect and rebound positions- we just need to convert some more of those opportunities! Oh and possibly ignore a couple of dodgy refereeing decisions which contributed to a non scoring game 🙁

Match 2 against Warriors looked a bit scary! Eight fresh faced, young, fit people wandered into the hall during the last minutes of the City game against our (equally young and fit) but not quite so fresh faced players coming straight from one match with barely time to analysis our game and catch our breath! Coach’s words whilst Captain went to shake hands with ref: “Just remember we’ve only played 40 mins so far so we’re good for at least the first half before we can collapse with exhaustion!” Taking to the court keeping the same divisions and determined to play our own game paid off though- despite Warriors warm up routine in between the matches, our match readiness paid off! Within what seemed like only a couple of minutes Sarah found the korf with a smashing long shot (slightly unconventional but hey who cares) and the whole team were boosted with confidence. Warriors fought a tough game but by half time we had managed to cling on a lead (2-1 I think) and despite having to dig deep and a few silly errors sneaking in as a result of fatigue, we agreed to go into the second half fighting- knowing that Warrior’s tactic would be to try and sink a fast couple to gain the advantage. The second half was exciting and inspiring! Our opponents had obvioudly had a bit of a tactical discussion but we still read their passing well, and their shots better and definately had more clean interceptions overall! By about 7 mins left to go, we still had the lead! Wow! This was looking good, we played as a team, kept our heads up- and from the frustration of the boys under the posts combined with the headless-chicken-like running round of the girls- they were getting a bit desperate! With the end in sight, one more goal was sank by a Warrior’s boy to even the score line to 5-5 (I think) and despite our trying a couple of special ideas….. it wasn’t to be 🙁 final score ended in a draw- but a very very good one and certainly allowed us to walk out of the Leisure Centre with our heads held high!

Congratulations to the full team including Martin (c), Lee, Kevin, Anthony, Sarah, Julia, Sophie and Eleanor for putting a non-too-shabby performance together. Plus the fixtures allowed us a sneaky peek at the opposition (City 2) for 5 minutes before leaving for home….. more to come after a week off next week!

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