Batley Ladies signed off 2019 with a 1-0 defeat to Pudsey in the Yorkshire Hockey Association Division Four North West last Saturday.
Batley started the day in second place as they welcomed third placed rivals Pudsey to Heckmondwike Grammar School
Games between the sides are usually well contested and there is a friendly rivalry between the two teams and this game was no different.
Batley started the game and were quickly on the attack with Rach Stewart sending Gail Culshaw running down the wing.
She beat a couple of Pudsey defenders and sent a cracking ball into the D but there was no Batley player near enough to strike as the first opportunity went begging.
Janna MacInnis was fantastic in the heart of Batley’s midfield and Pudsey struggled to get the ball passed her.
Kim Sharples battled her way through skipping past several Pudsey players on numerous occasions but could not get the ball passed the goalkeeper and it just didn’t appear to be Batley’s day in front of goal.
Batley continued to battle away but struggled to break the Pudsey defence down and with three minutes of the first half remaining, the visitors won a short corner.
They took full advantage to score from what was virtually their first attack of the half.
Stewart continued to battle away up front after the break and was showing sheer determination to get Batley back on level terms.
A neat passing move between Culshaw and Stewart almost brought the equaliser as the latter hit the post with a shot from the top of the D.
Some great work by Mel Neal on the left side saw a great ball into Joanne Forbes but she was unable to convert the chance right on the goal line.
Stewart won Batley a short corner right on the final whistle and Almond sent the pass in the air to Sharples but Pudsey were quick out to stop the attack as they held on for victory.
Victory saw Pudsey move above Batley in the league table, with the home side lying third going into the Christmas break.
Player of the match went to Rach Stewart voted by both her own team and opposition players.
Batley return to action with a tasty trip to league leaders Horsforth on January 11 as they look to close the four point gap.