Falconers hoping to swoop for a promotion place in Division Four

IF any game summed up the competitive nature of Division Four in the North Bridge LC League this season it was the clash of promotion rivals Falconers and Tommos on Monday.

There have been nine draws so far, more than in any other division, and this was the latest of them with the pair sharing the honours 25-25 in the night’s highest-scoring contest.

Tommos were five goals to the good at one stage in the first half but the experienced Falconers fought back and the late goals went according to whose turn it was to have the centre pass.

The result means Falconers retain a one-point advantage over their rivals in what looks a five-cornered fight for the two promotion places.

Falconers, formerly Lloyds after backing from the bank, are one of the longest established teams and several of their players have been together for the best part of two decades.

Joanne Williams, who played centre on Monday, is the team organiser and goal shooter Lorraine Taylor, wing attack Nicola Weston, goal attack Andrea Campbell and wing defence Nickola Brown are other long-serving players.

Goal defence Sharon Porter and goalkeeper Alison Naylor are more recent acquisitions while shooter Jenny Foster is currently on maternity leave.

Old Brodleians seconds top the table by three points but they have played one game more than the four chasers, who are separated by just one point.

Falconers have yet to play Brods for a second time and Williams believes the young Hipperholme side, who have been involved in four of the draws, may be able to pull out a bit extra when it counts.

“It will be nice if we can go back up again,” said Williams, whose side have played as high as Division Two in the past.

The Brods, meanwhile, retained their cushion over the rest thanks to a 17-10 win over bottom club Sapphires.

Their wing attack Lauren Armstrong was in fine form from the start, her powerful drives and good work around the circle providing Lucy Bowman and Faye Rhodes with shooting opportunities.

Bowman rarely missed but while Rhodes’ movement was good, she was overshooting in the first few minutes. Centre Vicky Sutcliffe worked the ball well.

Goalkeeper Ella Davies, goal defence Megan Brearley and wing defence Rosina Costello marked well as a unit, forcing Sapphires into mistakes.

Brods led 12-7 at half time and although Sapphires’ tall defence checked their scoring, goals were few and far between at the other end.

Triangle had a comfortable 23-13 success over Sparkles while Impact stayed on the heels of the leaders with a narrow win over an Emeralds side just below them in the table.

The promotion places look decided in Division Six. Top two Gems and Wasps are eight points clear after both won - Wasps scraped through by a single goal against Sowerby Stars - and third-placed Harlequins lost 13-11 to Diamonds.

RESULTS - Division Four: Sparkles 13 Triangle 23, Emeralds 15 Impact 17, Sapphires 10 Old Brods 2 17, Twinkles 10 Ravens 9, Tommos 25 Falconers 25.

Division Six: Harlequins 11 Diamonds 13, Wasps 14 Sowerby Stars 13, Ladybirds 22 Barki Belles 14, Pink Fizz 9 Gems 22, West End Girls 10 Average Joes 0.

THE Ridings has re-opened after electrical repairs and top division teams will be at the Ovenden venue on Monday.

MONDAY’S FIXTURES (division in brackets) - at North Bridge: 7.0, TAGS v Unity (3) and Roxy Rebels v Twinkles 2 (5); 7.35, Jaguars v Halifax (3) and Dovetails v Rangers (5); 8.10, Sparks v Tiger Vets (3) and Black Jacks v Hillside Services (5); 8.45, Innscribe v Lee Green (3) and Wolves v Jewels (5); 9.20, Dynamite v Thundercats (5).

At The Ridings: 7.0, Tigers v Pumas (1); 7.35, Towergate v Ryburn Utd (1); 8.10, Yo-Yos v Old Brodleians (1); 8.45, Hi-Tech Cougars v Jokers (1); 9.20, Townies v Arrows (1).

CALDERDALE LEAGUE: Jokers 47 Yo-yos 20, Towergate 34 Tigers 36, Jets 34 White Rose 45.