Calderdale Netball Club firsts showed grit and determination to beat Shipley Swifts 46-39 in a gruelling West Yorkshire Super League match at Dewsbury.
Despite absentees due to injury, Calderdale got off to a flying start with defenders Sophia Boothroyd and Fiona Rowe winning possession in Shipley’s attacking circle.
At the other end, possession was quickly converted into goals, Megan Kennedy‘s core strength in the shooting circle making interceptions difficult for Shipley.
Tactical changes to Calderdale’s centre court in the second quarter allowed wing defence Lucianne Hinch to show her defensive expertise.
Calderdale kept their lead throughout the game, aided particularly by player of the match Carolyne Baldwin and Jess Brearley, who fed the attacking circle with speed and accuracy.
It is fourth versus third on Saturday when Calderdale play Bradford Premier.
Calderdale seconds maintained their fine form, beating Fusion 2 50-34 to stay top of Division One.
They got off to a shaky start and mistakes all over the court allowed Fusion 2 to match them in the first quarter, which finished 12-12.
Calderdale upped their game and sparkling link up play from Sarah Waddington and Lisa Lund in mid-court ensured the chances kept coming and Calderdale found themselves with a 24-20 lead at half-time.
Stacey Rooke came on for Gill Coldwell at wing defence and the shooters swapped positions. The changes had a positive effect and with Paula Powell and player of the match Gail Gledhill hardly missing a shot, Calderdale held a commanding 38-27 advantage heading into the last 15 minutes.
Fantastic defence from Clare Hunt-Brown and Louise Stones ensured there was no way back for Fusion.
Calderdale have another crunch match, against ANC, on Saturday.
Calderdale thirds slipped four points behind second-placed Tykes 3 in Division Three when they were beaten 34-28 by those rivals.
It was neck at neck until Tykes edged in front by 12-11.
Tykes’ defenders then upped their game, putting Calderdale shooters Pauline Williamson and Beth Pollard under pressure. Tykes finished the second quarter 20-16 up.
Calderdale’s defensive duo Jasmin Douglas and Hannah Godfrey dug deep and made some timely interceptions to turn the game around.
Calderdale gave everything in the final quarter in an effort to pull back the deficit, with player of the match Godfrey at goal keeper to the fore, but they were too far behind.
The thirds play lowly Fusion 3 on Saturday.