Batley defy the odds to seal victory away to City of York

Batley Ladies hockey team overcame City of York with only eight players
Batley Ladies hockey team overcame City of York with only eight players

Batley Ladies overcame huge odds to record a superb 3-2 victory away to City of York in the Yorkshire Hockey Association Division Four North last Saturday.

Half term left Batley struggling for players and they were forced to travel with a team of only eight to take on a York outfit boasting a full compliment of 11.

Batley players were having to cover plenty of ground and York were able to pass the ball around but the strong defenders Mel Neal and Kat Hawkyard were closing down attacks with efficiency.

Batley’s main chances were to break quickly and push through with Rach Dhesi and Jo Forbes ready when Batley got the ball up the field.

The first attacking opportunity came when Gail Culshaw made a run down the wing into the York circle and her cross found Forbes, who neatly slotted home to put Batley ahead.

York were straight back on attack, making runs through midfield and creating opportunities.

Batley didn’t have enough players to cover everyone on attack and York found an unmarked player in the circle to equalise.

Batley’s midfield continued to create attacks, despite the numerical disadvantage, with Sarah Fretwell running the ball up the field rather than risking an intercept.

This led to a penalty corner for Batley and a straight strike from Gail Culshaw was hit in mid air by Gemma Needham into the back of the net to put Batley ahead at half-time.

It was an elated Batley team that headed back out on the pitch for the second half.

Rach Dhesi took the ball alone from halfway through the York defence for a one on one with the goalkeeper and her keen diligence on the rebound fired the ball home.

York piled on the pressure as Batley began to tire and Helen Langwick made some great saves to preserve the advantage.

York won a penalty corner and the ball was played in to the Batley goal but the visitors held on to win and it was eight elated but exhausted players who made their way off the pitch.

Batley entertain Pickering this week with the sides lying fourth and third in the table.