By Matt Hardy
Sheffield got their Super League campaign off to the best possible start yesterday, as they defeated the Oxford City Lions 2-0 at the Concord Sports Centre.
A stunning Adam Oldham strike and a late second from Richard Ward sealed a well deserved victory for the Northern League champions, putting them in the driving seat for qualification from Group A.
Daniel Berdejo-del-Fresno’s side had goalkeeper and captain Curtis Holmes to thank for their win, as the England international pulled off a series of fine saves to keep the hungry visitors at bay, before playing an important part in the build-up to Ward’s clinching strike.
The Lions, who were last season’s beaten Grand Finalists, were a big scalp for the South Yorkshire side and the euphoria was clear to see as the final whistle was blown.
To progress from the Super League groups, it will be important to make home advantage count and in front of some lively home support, Sheffield showed just how serious their challenge is this season.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Helvecia (6-2 over Manchester) and Baku United (6-1 over Loughborough) at home in Barking’s Sporthouse Arena, whilst Team Bath came back from 4-1 down to rescue a point at home to Middlesbrough.
Damon Shaw’s side will be hoping to build on what was an impressive point, when London United visit Thornaby Pavilion this coming Sunday in Group C.
Oxford will have the chance of bouncing back from their defeat as the entertain FC Baltic, whilst Loughborough will have a chance of bouncing back from a difficult opener, as they welcome CYDC Leeds to the University Netball Centre on Sunday evening.
Manchester will be hoping they can bounce back too, as they travel to the West Midlands to face Birmingham FC.
By Matt Hardy