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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Olympia Topple Leaders Salford

OLYMPIA threw the race for the English National League title wide open when they convincingly beat league leaders Salford 30-18 in the first play-off match at Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool.

The defeat was Salford’s first of the season, and cuts their lead at the top of the play-off table to just two points with Great Dane, Manchester and Ruislip all breathing down their neck.

An early clash of heads between Salford’s Jake Williams and Olympia goalkeeper Mohammed Elkedim led to a lengthy delay, with Williams knocked out for a number of minutes and left needing hospital treatment.

The stoppage left Salford clearly rattled, and they were 15-5 down at half time. They battled back after half time, but they could not reduce the deficit with seven goals from Thomas Schied underpinning the win for Olympia.

Later in the day, Manchester beat Ruislip Eagles 24-20 in a close match.

Manchester took an early lead, opening up the Ruislip defensive line and scoring from several six-metre shots. Ruislip desperately tried different formations to stem the flow but Manchester mixed up their attacking options and continued their free-scoring ways which helped them to a 14-10 lead at the break.

But with just eight players remaining, Manchester began to tire and Ruislip closed the gap to just one goal.
But strong defence and good fast breaks kept Manchester’s tally ticking over, and they held on for the win.

Finally, in the day’s other match Great Dane beat Nottingham 25-19.

The play-offs continue on March 13 with another set of matches at Moulton, Northampton, from 12-6pm.

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