Manchester Mystics

Mystics U14 claim victory in War of the Roses

Our visitors for last Saturday’s War of the Roses (red is so much more colourful than white!), Leeds had made a promising start to the season, beating a strong Hatfield side and pushing league leaders Sheffield all the way. We expected a tough contest and for large portions of the game we got it. For the first quarter and nine minutes of the second, not even Psychic Sally would have dared to predict the outcome. We led 37-29 but Leeds had shown that they possessed several talented offensive players. Our defensive match-ups would need tweaking, as would our help defence.

Up to now, we had performed competently offensively, generally doing the simple things well. A 6-0 run in the final minute of the second period then pushed the lead to 14 by half-time and seemingly did wonders for our young team’s confidence- 8/13 are young enough to compete at this level next season- after the interval. Throughout the third period, Leeds relied largely on a barrage of 3 pointers of varying accuracy and power in an attempt to get back on terms. Mystics approach was kinder on the backboards and less spectacular but far more productive. Eye-catching team offense, full of good decision making and ball sharing, highlighted by effective use of the extra pass to create higher percentage shots resulted in a staggering 33 points over the next 10 minutes with all 11 available Mystics-  the unlucky Eleni is injured again- again making meaningful contributions. 

Now a comfortable 35 points to the good, it was an ideal opportunity to use the whole of the fourth quarter to share court time more equitably. It was used well by everyone in a genuinely excellent, thoroughly enjoyable all-round team performance. The final score of 94-57 was as deserved as it was surprising, given the strength of the opposition. Our 4 most experienced players, Charli Wroe, Olivia Forster, Lily Hayes and Kizzi Spence led from the front, taking it in turns to go on scoring spurts. Additionally, praise for outstanding defensive displays should go to Olivia and Charli. Nia Molloy, Daisy Bryan and Emily Wood all seem to improve with every game and each of them made valuable contributions on the scoring front once more. The dependable quartet of Jo Vourliotis, Lia Vourliotis, Esha Nayar and Zara Masadah-Tate stood out for their defensive displays, particularly on the rebounding front. They, too, are progressing at every turn. 

Many thanks to Sam, Carys, Kayun and Jim for all you did and to all parents and friends for you support. Sadly, no game next week. Next up, Hayfield at home on Sunday 26th Nov. Tip 12:30pm.