The Birmingham Ladies went in to the match high on confidence having won their first 2 games of the season, putting them joint top of the league with Loughborough, trailing only on goal difference. But Trent weren’t an opposition to be underestimated as they sat just below Birmingham at 3rd in the table.
Birmingham had the better of the first quarter, leading 8-4 after the opening 15 minutes, using their physical advantage well to bully Trent with some fluid attacking moves and a high defensive work rate. Jordan Moxey, playing C, looked particularly good in opening exchanges, opening up the Trent defence with some fast and accurate passing on more than one occasion.
Trent fought back well in the 2nd quarter, combatting Birmingham’s physical approach with some swift counter attacks, often finished off by the precise shooting of their GS, who also looked on good form. Trent had the better of the quarter and trailed by just 1 at half time, with the score at 20-19 to Birmingham.
The 3rd quarter was again tightly contested, with both sides capitalising on defensive mishaps and using their respective GS’s clinical finishing to great effect. Birmingham’s GS, Emily Sutton, was in imperious form throughout, but was particularly influential in this quarter, making some important scores, which helped Birmingham carry a slender 29-28 lead into the final 15 minutes.
As the 4th quarter began the atmosphere in the Munrow grew, the Birmingham dominated crowd answering each interception or point from Birmingham with rapturous applause. As the game neared its climax and mistakes became more prominent from both sides, Emily Thomas- Rowe, Birmingham’s GA, kept calm and collected, enabling her to score 5 baskets in a row, stretching Birmingham’s lead and giving them some vital breathing space which enabled them to ultimately clinch victory, with the final score being 40-36.
Birmingham’s coach Carl Hallbrook was obviously pleased with his team’s performance after their 3rd straight win, keeping them at the top of the table, but he did say they must improve their consistency and eradicate defensive errors if they are to come out on top in their next match, away to Loughborough, which will surely prove to be their stiffest opposition yet.