Batley Ladies impress to register quick fire league double
Batley Ladies moved up to third place in Yorkshire Hockey Association Division Four North West after taking maximum points from their two games last weekend.
Batley earned a 2-0 win over Otliensians firsts on Saturday and followed up with a 4-2 success in a rearranged match against Harrogate Fifths on Sunday as they moved to within a point of second placed Pudsey.
Batley boasted a full strength squad for the visit of Otliensians and it was only Helen Langwick’s superb prowess as goalkeeper that prevented them from falling behind.
Otley were a physical team, which lead to Batley winning several penalty corners, one of which saw Sarah Fretwell produce a great pass for Gail Culshaw to open the scoring.
When Langwick was challenged, Sophie Pearce and the rest of the Batley defence denied Otley as they led 1-0 at half-time.
Otley created further chances after the break but player of the match Langwick made some more good saves, while Pearce cleared another effort off the line.
Batley responded and an attack down the wing saw Kim Sharples and Vicky Almond combine.
Sharples left the ball for Almond to produce an unstoppable reverse flick to make it 2-0.
Batley then frustrated Otley, breaking down the visitors attacks, as they began the weekend with an excellent win.
Batley completed a quickfire double against Harrogate, who had some skilful players among their younger stars.
Harrogate forced penalty corners but Langwick again proved unbeatable to keep them out.
Great work by Almond and Culshaw saw Batley win their first penalty corner but Sharples’ shot hit a defender.
Pearce was on hand to thwart another Harrogate attack and when Batley moved to the other end to win a short corner, Culshaw fed Fretwell, who laid it back for Sharples to score.
Culshaw then skipped past several Harrogate defenders and fired the ball into the circle for Stewart for score and put Batley 2-0 up.
Hemingway and Neal denied another Harrogate attack before Reynolds, one of Batley’s outstanding players in midfield, sent a quick ball to Sharples and she skilfully beat Harrogate players.
The excellent move continued and Sharples tapped home Culshaw’s goalbound shot on the line.
Stewart then chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 4-0, although Harrogate managed to pull a goal back before half-time.
Harrogate came out strongly for the second half and added a second goal.
Pearce continued to excel at the back and controlled play, while new signing Pinnock went close to scoring her first goal only to be denied by a fine save.
Batley had no substitutes and lost their way a little as players were forced to change positions but they worked hard to grind out a second win of the weekend.
Player of the match was Pearce for her awesome display at the back and Batley visit Huddersfield this week.