Firsts improve, seconds win

Calderdale firsts captain Jane Parker
Calderdale firsts captain Jane Parker

Calderdale 44

Hi-Tech Cougars 48

Calderdale captain Jane Parker believes better times are ahead after a much-improved display against the West Yorkshire Super League leaders.

Parker, whose plans were thrown into disarray when Sophia Samuels reported a thigh injury on Friday evening, said: “After a very difficult season it was very uplifting performance.

“The players now believe in themselves and everyone is convinced a few good wins will come our way.”

Calderdale’s starting line up consisted of Gillian Coldwell (GK), Clare Hunt-Brown (GD), Suzanne Forrest (WD), Carolyne Baldwin (C), Hollie Thomas (WA), Roxy Rothery (GA) and Prue Richmond-Batty (GS).

An annihilation looked on the cards when they trailed 12-2 after 10 minutes but they found form and clawed the goals back to finish the first quarter 19-15 down.

Calderdale were unchanged for the next 15 minutes and the sides traded goals to take the score to 27-23.

Both sides made changes for what proved an exciting third quarter. Calderdale’s shooters had a bad spell but the defence was excellent and Baldwin found it easier to bring the ball down court.

It was 31-31 at one stage but Hi-Tech finished the quarter with a two-goal lead and slightly extended that advantage in a very physical final 15 minutes.

Calderdale II 37

Farsley Celtic 32

Calderdale seconds went into their game in optimistic mood, their only win following last season’s promotion having come against Celtic in the earlier meeting.

And their confidence was not misplaced, victory taking them above the club’s firsts in the lower reaches of the table.

The new shooting combination of Elaine Douris and Laura Kennedy proved successful from the off as Calderdale took a 3-0 lead.

The first quarter form was reminiscent of last season in the Premier as passes flowed down court and errors were almost non existent.Calderdale also capitalised on plenty of turnovers to lead 12-5 after 15 minutes.

Farsley were struggling to get the ball into their shooters due to Calderdale’s tight full court defence, led by player of the match Saleha Cooke. She received strong backing from young Megan Woodworth.

Mid-court players Lisa Lund and Heaton worked hard, making well timed drives and accurate passes into the shooters.

Calderdale went into half time 21-12 up, but feeling they had let the opposition back into the game slightly.

Kate Ineson and Sophie Metcalfe give Heaton and Lund a rest, but Farsley reduced the deficit to 28-20.

Heaton was determined not to let a rare win slip and returned for the final quarter. Cooke went to goal attack and revitalised the team going forward but tiredness set in and the final whistle couldn’t come quick enough as Farsley closed the gap.

Calderdale III 33

Huddersfield Giants 59

Calderdale had to settle for a losing bonus point in Bradford after giving debuts to Emma Bullough at goal defence and Kat Burt at goal shooter.

The starting line-up was completed by Kate Manley (GK), Natalie Miles (WD), Becki Wood (C), Georgina Parkinson(WA) and Libby Illingworth(GA).)

Giants dominated from the start and took a healthy lead in the first quarter, making it hard for Calderdale to recover.

Changes were made at half time. Poppy Briggs came on at centre, Gail Gledhill to goal shooter and Beth Pollard to goal defence with Bullough moving to wing defence.

Pollard, Briggs and Bullough made some crucial interceptions, helping Calderdale to recover slightly.

Bullough was the players’ player and coach’s player of the match.

Calderdale’s teams return to action on February 1 when the firsts play Harrogate Pheonix and seconds and thirds face opposition from Hi-Tech.