Champions Cheltenham are making an impressive bid to retain their British League men’s Super 5s title after claiming two more victories in the latest round of matches at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
Following a 14-12 victory over Lancaster, Cheltenham staged a thrilling recovery to beat one of their main title rivals, Manchester, 8-6. It had all gone wrong for Cheltenham in the early stages as they lost Joel Thomas with a badly cut eye and were 3-1 down. Manchester were 4-2 up at halftime and progressed to 6-2 in the third quarter as Aaron Winstanley scored a fine counterattacking goal.
That fired Cheltenham into action. By the end of the third period, they had pulled level at 6-6 with goals by brothers Marc and Albert Tarres, Will Rayson and Rob Parker. Their goalkeeper, Sam Legge, also pulled off a couple of crucial, point-blank saves. Parker and Will Middleton added further goals midway through the last period to guarantee the win – and establish a four-point lead after only four matches at the top of the table.
Scottish team Caledonia continue to make a big impression in their first season in the Super 5s. They were actually 3-0 up in the first period against Manchester thanks to goals by Logan Shepherd and twins Chris and Darren Campbell but couldn’t quite maintain the momentum and eventually went down 7-6. Lancaster, led by five-goal Tom Curwen, beat Solihull 16-8.
In the women’s Super 5s, champions Liverpool Lizards reclaimed top spot with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over great rivals Manchester, who suffered their first defeat. Manchester dominated much of the early stages but struggled to beat the excellent Liverpool goalkeeper, Rosie Morris. Earlier, Fran Clayton scored five in Coventry’s 12-7 defeat of Leeds Sharks.
For all the latest results and tables from the UK, go to www.bwpl.org.