Team Jets win at Sussex Thunder in Premier League opener

Team Jets v Thunder
Sussex Thunder had to win their play-off final to retain the place in Premier Three last season

Team Jets won their debut match in the national divisions with a hard-fought 42-39 victory at Sussex Thunder.

The Jersey-based Jets, playing in Premier League Three after promotion from South West Regional League One, were 32-31 behind going into the last quarter.

Six unanswered goals set them up for the win at the University of Brighton.

"I know the girls will be absolutely delighted," said Jets coach Linda Andrews.

"What a game - our first exposure to Premier Three and it was a really physical game with high energy and we got a win out of it in the end.

"I think in the South West [divisions] we were in control and we were too good for that league, but at this level they just keep coming back at you all the time."

The Channel Islanders led 11-7 after the first quarter against a Thunder side which finished second-from-bottom of the division last season, but stayed up after success at the same play-off weekend in which the Jets sealed promotion.

The hosts improved in the second quarter and by half-time had narrowed the gap to just a single goal, with Jets 21-20 in front.

Georgia Hickey, Team Jets goalkeeper
"I guess our fitness and our skills showed that we can do it and that we're meant to be in this league."

Andrews switched Lynsey Pitman to goal shooter for the third quarter but, despite her early accuracy, Thunder claimed five unanswered goals to move into the lead for the first time with just over 15 minutes remaining.

Back came the visitors though, in an incredible switch in momentum, with six consecutive scores of their own at the start of the final quarter to help them to the opening-day win.

The match saw goalkeeper Georgia Hickey return to the Jets after nearly two years away in Australia.

"The change in the Jets has been dramatic," Hickey told BBC Radio Jersey. "Now it's gone really professional and extremely competitive but I enjoy that environment.

"It was a really difficult game and I think it was a fight the whole way through, but I guess our fitness and our skills showed that we can do it and that we're meant to be in this league."

Jets are next in action away at Ryland on 28 September, while Sussex Thunder will face Loughborough TFC on the same weekend.

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