Rockets light the touchpaper for another assault on promotion

ROCKETS won the big match in Division Two of the North Bridge LC League this week, edging out Panthers 25-24 in a promotion scrap.

They resisted a late fightback from their opponents to bag three points to their rivals’ one.

Runners, 22-17 victors against Jets on Monday, are the other major promotion contenders while Queens, the widest-margin winners of the night in the section against Heath Ladies, are hanging on to the leading trio’s coat tails.

Rockets wing attack and team organiser Helen Whiteley is hoping her side can go up this time after a near miss last season.

“We didn’t lose until the end of February but then we were hit by injuries and pregnancy and finished third,” she said.

“Hopefully this time we can go for it.”

Laura Simmons is back at goal shooter after having a baby while centre Zandra Puddephatt and wing attack or shooter Anna Bartys are over their injury problems.

Suzanne Henderson is currently sidelined and shooter Kathy Leach has emigrated to Australia but Whiteley said the addition of young centre court player Kirsty Skinner meant Rockets had a squad of eight or nine players to choose from.

Emily Pearson, Lisa Gledhill and Nutan Joshi have helped give Rockets one of the best defensive records in the section so far this season.

Rockets have some school teachers in their ranks and Whiteley believes her team’s next fixture, against White Rose during the half term holidays, could pose a problem as two players are on skiing trips.

She predicted a close promotion fight as Rockets look to return to the top section after a gap of four seasons.

Robins gave more evidence that they are finding their feet in Division Two following promotion when they surprised ROKT by 26-22.

Angela Sutcliffe’s side are still bottom but they are now in touch with the other teams.

Division Four is the most open section. Brodleians seconds remarkably still lead even though they have won only four of their 10 matches, having drawn another four.

Vicky Hellowell’s young side were beaten 19-16 by Sparkles in their latest match and Falconers now trail them only on goal difference after they just got the better of Twinkles by 17-15.

Results were more predictable in Division Six with runaway pair Gems and Wasps posting easy wins.

Division One sides return to action on Monday with a trip to the Ridings and the hardest match to call could be the first one, between Old Brodleians and Ryburn United.

RESULTS - Division Two: Heath Ladies 9 Queens 22, Runners 22 Jets 17, Panthers 24 Rockets 25, ROKT 22 Robins 26, White Rose 24 Blue Mavericks 18.

Division Four: Falconers 17 Twinkles 15, Sapphires 11 Emeralds 18, Impact 11 Triangle 16, Ravens 13 Tommos 13, Old Brods 2 16 Sparkles 19.

Division Six: Average Joes 2 Pink Fizz 21, Ladybirds 16 Wasps 28, Sowerby Stars 27 Diamonds 14, Gems 23 West End Girls 4, Barki Belles 11 Harlequins 18.

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

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