Calderdale suffered a third successive defeat in 2011 as they lost a closely fought match 49-40 to old rivals Hi Lites in the West Yorkshire Super League.
Previous encounters have been closely matched and hard fought and Saturday’s game was no exception as Hi Lites battled and bruised their way to victory.
There was nothing between the two sides in the first quarter as Calderdale, with Claire Higgins returning at goal attack, matched Hi Lites goal for goal
The Hi Lites defence made Higgins, shooter Roxy Rothery and wing attack Laura Kennedy work hard to get the ball into the shooting circle and it finished 12-12.
Forced and unforced errors meant that Calderdale’s play was disjointed in the second quarter and they struggled to get the ball to the attack. Player of the match Jane Parker fought hard to turn over balls but Calderdale were unable to convert possession into goals due to the strength of the Hi Lites defence. Hi Lites had taken a 28-20 lead at the end of the first half.
Captain Lee Davis made drastic changes with Saleha Choudhury replacing Kennedy at wing attack and Kennedy moved into defence, replacing Pia Rattigan.
Choudhury made an immediate impact, feeding some excellent balls into the circle, which Rothery easily converted into goals.
Calderdale started to produce their usual free flowing netball while in defence Davis and Kate Ineson came under pressure from an increasingly physical Hi Lites attack but their tight marking forced errors.
By the end of the third quarter Calderdale were threatening to take control but were still trailing 37-30.
Choudhury was moved into the defence with Ineson in an attempt to control the Hi Lites shooters and Kennedy switched to wing attack with Rattigan coming back on court as wing defence. However, Calderdale were unable to maintain their momentum and Hi Lites finished comfortable winners.
Calderdale 2 knew they had a tough task against unbeaten Manor Tykes but matched the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders until the final quarter before losing 45-34.
Both teams started with vigour and purpose and some excellent shooting from Gail Gledhill and Kirsty Hammond kept Calderdale on terms.
The game started to get very physical in the second quarter but Saleha Choudhury and Michelle Haley were dominating space and marking tightly. Calderdale continued to dig their heels in during the third quarter with Sarah Heaton and Lisa Lund swapping positions. Lund and Heaton fed the shooters accurately and ensured, along with Gill Coldwell, that centre court possession remained with Calderdale.
A few errors trying to get the ball out of defence threatened to give Tykes the advantage but Calderdale were not going to give up without a fight and ended the quarter 27-27.
Youngsters Olivia Baldwin and Kirsty Parker got a taste of the action in the final 15 minutes but the Tykes’ fitness showed and despite warnings about contact didn’t allow it to affect their game, pulling clear.
Calderdale firsts play Leeds Carnegie at Whitcliffe Mount on Saturday (10.15) while the seconds meet Fusion at the Lighthouse near Odsal (12.45).