The second weekend of BWPL’s Women’s Division 1 at the Alan Higgs Centre in Coventry saw some exciting action as the league table starts to take shape.
The league leaders, Manchester, maintained their 100% record from last time out as they tore apart Caledonia on Saturday, before beating Otter with relative comfort on Sunday. Rosie Huck and Izzy Howe both netted 6 each against Caledonia in the first game, while stellar displays over both days from Brooke Tafazolli and Steph Whittaker saw them both bag 7 goals in 2 matches. Manchester still have three more games until Super 5s, but they look as good as qualified for phase two.
Coventry jumped up to second place and will be delighted with three wins from this weekend in their home pool. On the Saturday, they eased past Tyldesley thanks to scores from Amy Berry and Rhianne Oscroft, while on Sunday, Ian Elliot’s side ran out deserved winners against three-time Super 5 champions, Liverpool in an eventful and frantic match.
The Sunday defeat aside, Otter will be satisfied with their work on Saturday, despite a nervy finish against Hucknall. They won two games on the Saturday (7-6 vs Hucknall & 18-8 vs Sheffield). Katy Cutler led the line for the London club against Hucknall with four goals, while Mhairi Nurthen (5), Rebecca Mulcahy (4), Isabelle Dean (3), and Emily Campbell-Lamerton (3) all converted against Sheffield.
Liverpool had another mixed-bag of results this weekend as they eagerly await qualification for the Super 5s. The Lizards from Merseyside, who last won the title back in 2016, were typically clinical as they blew Hucknall away on Saturday – Molly Boniface-Ashton finding the back of the net on 6 occasions. However, they fell way short on Sunday as they couldn’t keep pace with Coventry, losing 16-12.
It must be mentioned that Otter, Caledonia, Hucknall and Coventry all had to play three games within two days, and that Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool Lizards Tyldesley will have to do the same on the weekend of 13th-14th November.
October 16th, 2021
Otter 7-6 Hucknall (2-1, 3-2, 2-1, 0-2)
Coventry 16-4 Tyldesley (2-2, 5-0, 4-0, 5-2)
Manchester 27-11 Caledonia (5-3, 8-3, 6-3, 8-2)
Liverpool 19-7 Hucknall (6-1, 2-2, 6-2, 5-2)
Otter 18-8 Sheffield (6-3, 3-0, 4-3, 5-2)
Coventry 21-9 Caledonia (5-0, 5-2, 5-1, 6-6)
October 17th, 2021
Tyldesley 7-9 Hucknall (1-3, 1-1, 4-3, 1-2)
Sheffield 15-10 Caledonia (3-1, 4-4, 3-2, 5-3)
Manchester 11-6 Otter (3-0, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3)
Liverpool 12-16 Coventry (2-3, 2-4, 3-5, 5-4)
The format of the British League involves two phases whereby teams play multiple fixtures across several weekends in various locations around the UK.
In the first phase of the season, eight teams in the top division play each other once in an attempt to qualify for the ‘Super 5s’ competition in the second part of the season. As the name suggests, the top 5 ranked teams from the first half of the season progress to the Super 5s, while the bottom 3 teams from the first phase take on the top 5 teams from the division below in a promotion/relegation play-off.
The team that tops the Super 5s in Spring is then crowned British Champions.