The second tournament of North-West Regional Division 2 took place in Shrewsbury this weekend for Penrith A team.
A new venue for many, with a pool similar to Penrith’s training venue at Penrith Leisure Centre. The pool was smaller compared to usual venues and as such played into Penrith’s hands, who being used to training in small pool has allowed the team to work well under pressure in smaller spaces. The team was a different lineup to normal as some players were unavailable for selection, as such the lineup was Jack Dunn, Robin Helsby, Hilary Clarke, Chris Archer and a debut for Rhys Kiernan.
The night comprised four games against LCC Coburg, Manchester Wildcatz B, Red Rose A and FOA D.
First up were LCC Coburg, which resulted in an excellent 11 – 0 win for Penrith, who were switched on and flowing from the off. The team decided to go for a more aggressive 2 and 2 formation, allowing the chasers to close down the opposition, putting the pressure on and forcing mistakes. Resulting in four goals for Robin, two for Jack and two for Rhys.
The second game of the night was Manchester Wildcatz B. Penrith opted to continue their aggressive game which proved to be the right choice and the game concluded 6 – 0 to Penrith, goals provided by Robin (3), Jack (2) and Hilary (1).
The penultimate game was a derby game versus Red Rose A, a team who have always provided excellent opposition for Penrith with results going either way. The game finished a close 6-5 to Penrith, who were losing the game 2-3 at halftime, but an excellent comeback gave Penrith the win. Penrith stayed with the 2 and 2 formation but opted to drop back into a 3 and 1 more defensive formation after the initial press by the chasers. The second half was Penrith’s to win, but a nervy last minute allowed Red Rose back into the game to make it 6-5 with 30 seconds to go. Penrith held their nerve and came out winners. Goals were contributed by Jack (2), Robin (2), Rhys (1) and Chris (1).
The final game was against FOA D, a young team from Liverpool who are always well drilled, well trained and a tough team to play against. The game finished 8-3, another win for Penrith, using the same tactics that resulted in a tough win against Red Rose A. Penrith were faster, quicker on the loose balls and as such caught FOA on the break on numerous occasions. It was expected that FOA were going to go 5 out, a very aggressive tactic which means each player man marks and doesn’t allow free play of the ball. However, the 5 out never came and Penrith finished winners with goals from Jack (7), Robin (1) and Rhys (1).
All in all, a great night for Penrith, with a new team and a new player, ending with a clean sweep of the tournament. Therefore putting Penrith in a strong position with the second half of the season to come carrying both momentum and confidence.