Brighouse must settle for second spot

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Brave Brighouse will have to settle for second place in the league this season after they lost the West Riding Ladies League title decider 2-1 at Keighley Ladies.

With both sides well aware of what was at stake, the game started at break neck speed despite the sweltering conditions, and it was Brighouse who made the dream start after four minutes when Leanne Smith broke clear down the right and pulled the ball back for the onrushing Leanne Groves.

She mishit her shot but the ball fell kindly for Vanessa Holroyd who smashed home from the edge of the area.

That seemed to rattle Keighley and Holroyd and Sarah Hemingway both went close to increasing their lead.

But, against the run of play, Keighley equalised after a free kick was flicked on and the Keighley striker tapped in from six yards.

The game went from end to end, but Keighley were gaining the upper hand.

Great defensive work from Chloe Abbott, Olivia Turner, Sheridan Drake and Emily O’Connor, ensured Keighley had no clear chances.

Brighouse were still proving dangerous on the break with Rachel Robertson and Alex Sweeney working hard in centre midfield trying to create openings for the forwards, but both defences held firm for a much welcome half time break.

The second half began with Keighley on top and Brighouse keeper Amy Monday had to be smart to tip a long range effort round the post before clawing away a close range effort.

Brighouse suddenly seemed to get a grip of the game and Smith fired wide from a good position.

She then she waltzed through the back four only to be thwarted by a great save from the Keighley keeper.

With time running out Brighouse pressed forward for that all important winning goal.

But it was Keighley who stole the points when their striker scored from an impossible angle to all but secure the title.

Although disappointed by the result Brighouse manager Richard Monday praised all his players for their efforts all season.

“Promotion to the Premier Division and a place in the cup final on May Day is a fantastic achievement by the players,” he said.

Next Sunday Brighouse travel to Republica for their penultimate league game.