Stewart on song with brace as Batley Ladies topple league leaders Horsforth
Batley Ladies secured a superb 2-0 win away to Yorkshire Hockey Association Division Four North West leaders Horsforth last Saturday.
It was Batley’s sixth win from their last seven outings and saw them move up to third place in the table, with Horsforth dropping to second and replaced at the top by Pudsey, although just two points now separate the top three sides.
Batley travelled with a strong team to take on top of the table Horsforth but were still expecting a hard game having lost to them earlier in the season.
Both teams started strongly but it was Batley who seemed to have to upper hand in the early exchanges as they were having the better attacks and getting the ball into dangerous positions.
It was an attack from the back though that put Batley in the lead as defender Jenni Pollington took the ball up the field and found Rach Stewart waiting in the circle to slot home.
Horsforth responded well as they looked to get back in the game but Sophie Pearce and Kat Hawkyard kept them at bay, while goalkeeper Helen Langwick only had to make a couple of saves in the first half.
Sarah Fretwell used Mel Neal and Gemma Elsworth on the wings to get the ball around the pitch and keep Batley moving forward.
Vicky Almond’s cross into the circle allowed Stewart to score a fantastic second goal which doubled the visitors advantage before half-time.
Horsforth attempted to fight back hard in the second half but Batley closed down the press and didn’t allow the ball through.
As the final whistle went, Batley celebrated a terrific win over the table toppers.
Player of the match was shared between Jenni Pollington and Rach Stewart.
Batley’s only defeat in the last seven games came at the hands of Pudsey before Christmas, while victories over Thirsk, Otliensians, Harrogate Fifths, Huddersfield, Bradford and now Horsforth, leaves them in a strong position ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to eighth placed Leeds Adel Fourths.
The sides drew 1-1 when they met on the opening day of the season.