Black Jacks surprise the weakened leaders

BLACK Jacks seized their chance to sping an upset in the North Bridge LC Monday League this week.

They took a big step towards safety in Division Five by inflicting a first defeat of the season on Twinkles 2 by 22-15.

They finished the stronger in a fluctuating contest against the young Twinkles side, who were lacking three key players.

Haley Pullen is out with a broken wrist while star pair Alice Smith and Amelia Taylor were at regional training.

Twinkles had been held to a draw by Dynamite in their previous game and coach Helen Fermoyle said: “It had to happen some time.

“Black Jacks impressed me. They are a nice team and have been together a long time.”

Twinkles 2 are still top, raising the possibility that they might be crossing swords next season with two more teams Fermoyle coaches - Twinkles firsts and Sparkles.

Monday’s big game in Division One between the second and third-placed clubs, Townies and Old Brodleians, was an anti-climax.

Brods, impresswive against Jokers in their previous match, were hard hit by injuries and other absentees and went down 28-17 to strong opponents.

Strong defence from Lee Davis and Shelley Pyrah helped Townies get on top and although Jess Brearley was as busy as usual in centre court for Brods her efforts were to no avail

Hi-Tech Cougars’ march towards another title continues. Ryburn looked as if they might give them a game when they nosed ahead midway through the first half with defenders Jo Hague and Louise Stones to the fore and centre Val Jackson setting up one goal with an outrageous low bounced pass.

There was only two goals in it at half-time, so Pia Rattigan decided to leave herself and defender Kirsty Travis on the sidelines, but Tech did what they do best and upped their game to win 22-13.

Bottom club Pumas had only six players against Yo-yos and the biggest cheer of the night came midway through the second half when they got their first goal. Yo-yos had scored 19 by then and the match finished 25-3.

Yo-yos are now eight points clear of Arrows, who occupy the second relegation place and were beaten 19-13 by Jokers.

Arrows were lacking a couple of key players, so moved Angela Whiteley up to wing attack and Sue Seymour to goal shooter to help against the height in the Joker’s defensive circle.

After an even start Jokers pulled ahead to finish the first half 9-5 up. Arrows’ tight defence seemed to unnerve the usually accurate Paula Balmforth and Sophia Samuels but unforced errors down court cost them.

The last match of the night involved Tigers and Towergate, who went into the contest battling over sixth spot on 22 points.

Tigers were a shooter down with Kim Roy missing but they kept Paula Hird quiet with some rugged defence and Libby Illingworth’s accuracy ensured a 16-12 success.

RESULTS - Division One: YO-YOs 25 Pumas 3, Hi-Tech Cougars 22 Ryburn Utd 13, Arrows 13 Jokers 19, Townies 28 Old Brods 17, Towergate 12 Tigers 16.

Division Five: Black Jacks 22 Twinkles 15, Wolves 14 Rangers 24, Thundercats 16 Jewels 12, Dynamite 23 Hillside Services 7, Dovetails 21 Roxy Rebels 10.

MONDAY’S FIXTURES (division in brackets) - At North Bridge: 7.0, Harlequins v Diamonds (6) and Sparkles v triangle (4); 7.35, Wasps v Sowerby Stars (6) and Emeralds v Impact (4); 8.10, Ladybirds v Barki Belles (6) and Sapphires v Old Brods 2 (4); 8.45, Pink Fizz v Gems (6) and Twinkles v Ravens (4); 9.20, West End Girls v Average Joes (6) and Tommos v Falconers (4).