Elsworth strikes late as Batley Ladies move second with victory
Batley Ladies secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Huddersfield last Saturday as they moved up to second place in Yorkshire Hockey Association Division Four West.
Batley travelled to Barnsley to face a Huddersfield side lying second-bottom in the table and it was a slightly changed attacking line who started the game.
Vicky Almond, starting as a winger, quickly found herself in the mix of things, slotting the ball across the circle, as Batley won their first penalty corner of the game.
Rach Stewart received the ball and passed into Sarah Fretwell who crossed for Almond to score the first goal of the game.
Batley quickly earned another penalty corner and this time it was Gemma Elsworth who sliced home to put the visitors 2-0 up after just 15 minutes.
There were some strict umpiring decisions, owing to the umpire being used to officiating a much higher standard of play and this stilted the flow of the game somewhat.
Huddersfield attacked and during the last five minutes had a chance to pull a goal back but good work at the back by Katie Amis-Hughes ensured Batley preserved their two-goal advantage until half-time.
Huddersfield made a quick start to the second half and sloppy defensive work from Batley allowed them to pull a goal back.
During a heated exchange with the umpire, over some unkind treatment of one of Batley’s newer players, Stewart received a green card and was forced to spend two minutes on the bench.
Huddersfield took advantage and capitalised with a second goal scored from another defensive blunder as they equalised.
Batley continued to plug away with Hayley Reynolds and Mel Neal impressing on the right, working the ball high up the field to Almond who was able to produce some excellent cross field balls but Huddersfield’s defensive line held on.
In the closing minutes Fretwell passed the ball to Elsworth who coolly slotted home to seal a dramatic but deserved win.
Batley made it hard for themselves with player of the match going to Gemma Elsworth for her last minute winner, which leaves them just a point behind leaders Horsforth
They travel to Bradford Girls Grammar School to face Bradford thirds on Saturday before hosting third placed Pudsey in their final game of 2019.