Brods on the up again after comfortable play-off success

OLD Brodleians are looking forward to crossing swords with Calderdale firsts in the West Yorkshire Super League next season after winning their promotion play-off game.

The Hipperholme side, who have gone up two years in succession since joining the league, beat Hi-Lites 56-41 at Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre.

The outcome was a big relief for the club’s leading light Vicky Hellowell, whose clerical error led to the side being docked a point, which cost them second-place in the Premier and automatic promotion.

It meant a showdown with the Harrogate side, who finished third from bottom of the Premier, for a place in the higher section next season.

Coach Hellowell said: “It’s been a great season. To win promotion twice in succession is recognition for the whole squad, who have worked hard.

“Unfortunately some of the squad are leaving for pastures new so we need some experienced players or players with potential to come and join us.”

Hellowell had a full squad to choose from and started with a relatively experienced seven of Rose Widdison at goalkeeper, Charlotte Wilson at goal defence, Beth Allen at wing defence, Jess Brearley at centre, Paula Fozzard at wing attack and Vicky Phillips and Joanna Hare in the shooting roles.

There were plenty of pre-match nerves but Brods came out with all guns blazing.

Widdison and wilson were superb at the back, marking tightly, retrieving and intercepting and making life very tough for the Hi-Lites attack.

Although the shooters were good, they got few opportunities and Brods won every quarter.

Sophie Morley came on at centre at the second quarter and Brearley went to wing attack as Fozzard was struggling with an Achilles injury. Morley did a good job keeping up with a very athletic Hi-Lites centre. Ninety per cent of the passes found Phillips or Hare, who had her best game of the season with only a few missed shots. Allen was also in excellent form, keeping a very quick wing attack out of the game.

More changes for the final quarter brought Kelly Ramsden into the game at wing attack and she was going well until jolting her back and being replaced by Louise Helliwell for the last few minutes.

Wilson and Hare were joint players of the match for Brods, closely followed by Morley, Allen and Widdison.