Batley Ladies lose ground in promotion race after defeat on Harrogate trip

Batley's Janna Macinnes suffered an injury after a clash of heads with a Harrogate defender during Saturday's game.
Batley's Janna Macinnes suffered an injury after a clash of heads with a Harrogate defender during Saturday's game.

Batley Ladies slipped to a 4-0 defeat away to a strong Harrogate Fourth team in Yorkshire Hockey Association Division Four North last Saturday.

Batley faced an early start for the game and travelled with no substitutes and knew they were in for a tough contest.

Batley drove hard on attack in the opening 10 minutes and looked dangerous as they moved the ball into the circle.

Harrogate started to get the upper hand, passing the ball around the Batley players to launch several attacks.

Batley were playing well but it was Harrogate who took the lead with a shot past Helen Langwick and this was quickly followed by two more goals as the visitors trailed 3-0 at half-time.

The efforts of Sarah Fretwell and Mel Neal in the centre kept the Harrogate attacks down but Batley were struggling to make counter attacks of their own.

Kat Briggs, Janna Macinnis and Ashleigh Hallis were forced to get back and help the defence out as Harrogate broke down Batley’s usual pass and move game with quick intercepts and strong passing of their own.

Batley attempted to move the ball wide to Helen Macuslane and Gemma Needham, which gave them opportunities to attack but Harrogate were quick to close them down.

Emily Perkins and Krystal Hemmingway helped closedown Harrogate attacks out wide but were unable to prevent the home side adding a fourth goal in the second half.

With five minutes to go, Batley won a penalty corner that was the best chance they had all game to score but a clash of heads between Janna Macinnis and a Harrogate defender saw the game stopped as the Batley player received treatment.

This was followed by two more injuries to Krystal Hemmingway and Sarah Fretwell following dangerous Harrogate balls and the game ended rather fraught.

It was a frustrating defeat for Batley, who had played well but were beaten by the strong Harrogate side, and they remain fourth in the table.

All the injuries sustained are not serious and Batley hope to have everyone available as they face league leaders Leeds Fourths this week.