City of Manchester’s bid to win the British League’s women’s Super 5s title for the first time in five years got off to a perfect start when they walloped Scotland’s representatives, Caledonia, 31-4 at Aldershot. They raced into a 7-1 advantage in their second match against former champions Liverpool Lizards – and then it all went embarrassingly wrong.
Gradually, Liverpool’s experienced team chipped away at the lead, although they still trailed 9-6 after three periods. But there was no doubting who bossed the final quarter – Liverpool scored five times through Lauren Tasker (3), Emily Pyper and Molly Boniface-Ashton, capping a remarkable recovery with an 11-10 victory.
Liverpool were well beaten in their opening match – 9-4 by City of Coventry. So, in the end, the only team to finish the opening weekend with maximum points from two games was reigning champions Otter. Five early goals from Lily Turner set up the London club’s 10-6 win against Coventry; they beat Caledonia 16-4 on day two.
City of Manchester made no mistakes in the men’s Super 5s, also at Aldershot, opening with a 14-1 defeat of Lancaster and then gaining an impressive 16-7 victory over Cheltenham. Surprise of the weekend was a double defeat for last season’s champions Solihull, who recovered from 8-4 down to 8-8 against Invicta, only to lose 10-8 when Scott Martin scored his third goal in the final quarter, followed by a late penalty from Callum Bailey. In their second match, Solihull went down 12-10 to Cheltenham. For all the results from the UK, go to www.bwpl.org.