Coach Jim's Report

Coach Jim’s Report: Mystics U14 at Sheffield Hatters

Following our comfortable victory over Conference side Stockport last Monday, we returned to the more competitive world of the Premier League to face our main rivals Sheffield Hatters. As we knew from the two previous contests against them, they are a strong, powerful, well-coached outfit who are ranked in the country’s top four at this level.

Without the blistering pace of Jane, the shooting prowess of Adele and the rebounding capability of Elsa, we needed to be at our best if we were to remain unbeaten. Sheffield is a city renowned for steel but on this occasion it was Manchester who showed its mettle!  Much of this was due to the make-up of our side which was as well-balanced as an expert tight-rope walker with all players on show capable of filling a variety of roles.

Despite the efforts of Sheffield’s excellent point guard and their size advantage, Mystics hard-working team defence and highly skilled offensive firepower enabled us to win all four quarters for a convincing 83-50 win. We now move on to the business end of the season with a home tie, on either 20 or 21 April, versus the team who finished fourth in the south, Sussex Storm. Will they be lightning quick or full of wind? I will endeavour to find out.

If we win that, next up will be either Kingston Lions or Lancashire Spinners on the first day of the Final Fours, 4 May. With 3 or 4 friendlies lined up in preparation, there remains plenty to play for, both for the team and individuals, as I finalise what I consider to be the most effective all-round combination of players likely to give us the best chance of success.

Thank you to my erudite assistant James, to all parents who gave lifts and their support as well as to Laura for standing in so seamlessly as team manager.

Just one training session, tonight at the Centre 5.30-7.30pm, before we all tuck in to our over-priced Easter eggs, after which we play Spinners away at 7.00pm on Thursday 4 April.