Pilgrims march on to extend winning form
LEADERS Pilgrims maintained their unbeaten start in P&D Premier A with an emphatic 35-7 victory over University II.
Pilgrims were in irresistible form at the Life Centre against the bottom-placed team.
They now hold a 10-point lead at the summit of Premier A having won all six of their matches this term.
Meanwhile, Bar Mez also stretched their winning start in Premier B to five wins from as many matches with a 38-22 victory over Plymouth Marjon Eagles.
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Bar Mez, despite coming third in Division One last season, have come back fighting and already secured comfortable wins against last year's rivals CSSA and University.
And this over victory over Eagles has taken Bar Mez to the top of the Premier B standings.
Defences were to the fore in the opening exchanges before Eagles, who have been at the upper end of the Premier B table for the last few seasons, took an early 5-3 lead.
Some strong centre court play between Alice Trethewey, Debbie Cardew and Meg Weekes created opportunities for Hannah Robinson and Rhiannon Sweet to turn the first quarter around and give Bar Mez a 10-7 lead.
In the second quarter, they exchanged goals and the score at half time stood at 17-13.
Bar Mez applied the pressure in the third quarter and increased the speed of their play. They created more chances to convert and pulled further away from Eagles.
This increased the pressure on the Eagles shooters and some good rebounding from Miranda Kirk and Sian Ridpath limited Eagles to just three goals.
The score now stood at 28-16 in Bar Mez's favour and worryingly for Eagles, they still looked fresh.
It appeared Bar Mez would stop Eagles gaining a losing bonus point in the final quarter as they extended their advantage to 34-17 and then the final score of 38-22 with a late exchange of goals.
Last year Debbie Cardew won the Division One player of the season and she has started the season in fine form and was nominated as player of the match by Eagles.
Bar Mez nominated Sarah Fowles from Eagles.
Meanwhile, Marjon prevailed 27-22 in a closely-fought and at times bad-tempered encounter to end Devils' five-match unbeaten run.
The victors took the first centre pass and showed their dominance right from the off.
Marjon's passes were direct and Devils found it hard to intercept especially as they lacked the height of their opponents.
Marjon took an early lead and were 7-4 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Devils shuffle players round with Becky Head coming on as WA to try to counter the speed and jumping height of Marjon.
The change of tactic seemed to pay off with the teams scoring eight goals apiece.
The third quarter saw Devils defence struggle to match the quick feet of Marjon's GA and GS, who linked up well to convert majority of their shots to lead 21-15 at the end of this phase.
During the break before the fourth quarter, the skippers of both teams were advised by the umpires to calm their players down.
The umpires said the match was becoming too aggressive as both teams were battling hard for loose balls and interceptions resulting in a large number of stoppages due to contact.
But in the final quarter Devils worked hard as a team to try to reduce Marjon's lead.
Helen Musgrave and Michelle Edwards received some great passes in from the attack, and they scored seven goals to Marjon's six.
Although both sides strived for supremacy, it was Marjon who held on for the win.