Going into a local derby without 4 of your starting 5 could be either deemed as risky as rock climbing in flip flops or as generous as giving a small child £5 per tooth as the Tooth Fairy. The fact that all 10 Mystics u14 I’s stepped up in the game versus Mystics II proved that focus and effort can compensate for such apparent disadvantage.
We started as nervously as a soft-backed turtle swimming in shark invested water. This reduced the first quarter mainly to a shoot-out between the outstanding Akeala Daniel and the powerful E. Osifo. We shaded it 18-14 but improvement was called for and subsequently, delivered.
We simplified our offense even further to begin the second period. The girls carried this master plan (!) out to perfection to score 21 points from 7 different players to make it 3 baker’s dozens to 2 by half-time. Our third quarter haul of 26 points from a slightly different Magnificent 7 gave us breathing space at 65-41 easing into the final 10 minutes.
This may explain why the fourth quarter was as tame as a house-trained hamster. More shading, via a 13-10 score line, brought the final result to 78-51, a pleasing tally for a team without its 4 leading markswomen. Mystics II put in a spirited display as they look to cement their play-off chances. They pushed us all the way (sometimes literally!) and deserve credit for doing so without a couple of key players (not Yale and Chubb!)
With 2 league games remaining, another win against our closest rivals, Sheffield next Saturday will see Mystics I crowned champions of the inaugural Northern premier League and ensure a #2 seeding with a home tie in the play-offs.
Thanks to James and Louise for their assistance as well as to our loyal band of supporters.