Penguin Emperors closed the first phase of the season at Watford Woodside (22/23 October) in a solid third place that secures our position in the new Super 5s.
Opening an intense weekend (three games in less than 20 hours!) was a match against Liverpool B. In a game that will be judged more for its shocking referring decisions than the action in the water, we ended up coachless and missing two players for three majors!
Nonetheless we won convincingly 15-2, with almost every member of the team getting on the score sheet.
The Penguin attack showed a different side when we faced the League leader, Liverpool A, without a coach. They opened with a thundering 4-0 lead, immediately making things tough for us. While our zone defence improved, our static attack left the way clear for too many counter-attacks by the fast Liverpool girls. The final score of 11-3 doesn’t properly do justice to a game that would have been more balanced had we taken advantage of own counter-attacks and extra men.
Our weekend closed with a trickier-than-anticipated match against Sheffield, not least because energy levels for a good part of the team were still depleted from the previous day. During the first two quarters we failed to capitalise on a number of opportunities to score from attack, and a missed penalty. Then a defensive distraction gave a temporary advantage to Sheffield. But we woke up in the second half and a strong improvement in extra men that progressively got smoother and smoother took us to an 8-2 victory.
A fair conclusion to a good first part of the season for the Emperors.