Toucans take charge
In Division Two the promotion race is hotting up, and, although Hi Q are in pole position, it is still mathematically possible for any of the top four teams to fill the top two spots, writes Graham Ingram.
Howden Hawks 22, Water Babes 20
Sidmouth Toucans 31, JD Tyres 12
Hi Q 25, Pixies14
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Hi Q were hoping to maintain their 100 per cent run of form when they met second-placed Pixies, whose form has been a bit erratic of late. With Sara Benson playing well, the Pixies started strongly and they led Hi Q by 7-4 at quarter time. Although the leaders rallied in the second quarter, it was still Pixies in front at half way – by 11-9. The third quarter saw Hi Q level the game at 13-13 so it was all to play for in the final session. In the final quarter Sadie Moran was in great form for Hi Q and they took the game by the scruff of the neck to record a thrilling 25-14 win, leaving the Pixies with a point from their splendid performance.
Whilst the top two faced each other, it was also an important game for the third and fourth-placed sides, JD Tyres and Sidmouth Toucans. The Toucans got off to a flying start and by quarter time were 9-2 ahead. Although the second period was closer, Sidmouth increased their lead over JD to lead 18-7 at half way. With Helen Terry in great form at GA the Toucans moved further ahead in the third period to extend the lead to 25-9. Although Jenny Bryant worked hard for JD Tyres they could not get close to Toucans who finished the game with a fine 31-12 win – a win that saw them change places with JD and move to within three points of Pixies in second place.
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The final game was a match between teams at the bottom end of the table – with the young Howden Hawks up against newcomers Water Babes who were still looking for their first point of the campaign. Hawks had the best of the first period to lead 7-2, a lead they had extended to 13-6 by half way. The third quarter saw the Water Babes pull a goal back to start the final session 13-6 adrift. With Sam Clarke pulling the Babes together for the final quarter they slowly reduced the arrears and were closing in when the final whistle went, Hawks glad to hang on to a 22-20 victory, and with Water Babes celebrating their first point!