Calderdale 1's campaign to improve on last season's 3rd place in the WY Super League looks on track with a convincing 58-46 victory against last season's winners, Hi Tech.
Right from the first whistle Calderdale stamped their authority on the game, converting turnover on Hi Tech's first centre pass. Calderdale's shooting partnership of Megan Kennedy and Kim Walters showed their composure under strong defensive pressure from Hi Tech's, finishing the first quarter with a marginal 14-12 2 goal lead. Calderdale continued in the same vein, increasing their lead to 4 goals.
Coach Phil Greenough had been working on the speed of link play down court, and that paid off with a master class in the 3rd quarter from mid court players Emma Bullough, Jess Brearley, and Carolyne Baldwin. But it was the number of athletic turnovers that made Brearley player of the match, and saw Calderdale stretch their lead to 10 goals.
Despite Hi Tech switching their players around they had no answer to Calderdale's dominance, and Captain Sophia Boothroyd and GK Amy Hunt-Brown continued to pick off interceptions with ease.
Calderdale 2 faced one of their toughest challenges of the season against a strong ANC side which ultimately came down to fitness in the final quarter.
The first half of the game was evenly matched by both teams in both defence and attack, with a 20-20 score at half time.
In the 3rd quarter ANC continued to apply the pressure in defence with a zone down court, creating turnover ball in their favour. They took advantage of every turnover and once on the attack took every opportunity given with a goal conversion. Centre court players captain Sarah Heaton, player of the match Jasmin Douglas, and newcomer Liz Harrison fought hard to breakdown the zone and worked tirelessly to bring the ball down court into the Calderdale attack, but ANC started to pull away, finishing the third quarter 30-25 to ANC. The experienced shooting duo of Paula Hird and Gledhill played with great composure and tactical awareness, but the ANC defence were tall and intercepted a lot of feeds into the circle, ultimately gaining an advantage.
In the fourth quarter Calderdale tried a change in tactics, WD Douglas marking the ANC GA, and the defensive duo of Louise Stones and Clare Hunt-Brown marking even tighter in the circle on the GS, but the ANC shooter was 100% accurate with every shot once in the circle. The final score finished 40 -32 to ANC.
Calderdale 3 made a slow start against Wakefield Phoenix 2nds making a few basic errors, letting Phoenix gain the initial lead. But Calderdale began to pull it back with the first quarter ending 7-5 to Phoenix.
Captain Kay Hollingworth made changes in the second quarter with Emily Woodworth coming into the shooting circle. Calderdale continued the great attacking play with Natalie Connor's consistent shooting and strong holds. The defence, in particular player of the match, Jess Moloney, made some great interceptions allowing for some key turnovers in the game, which resulted in a close finish again for the second quarter at 14-13 to Phoenix. Hollingworth made further changes to the team adding the young Molly Brearley and Lyndsey Foster to the defence with Brearley's speed putting extra pressure on Phoenix.
Calderdale managed to retain their consistency in the third quarter and continued to provide Phoenix with a challenge, ending the third quarter at 20-18 to Phoenix. Final changes were made in the last quarter bringing back on experienced shooter Pauline Williamson and regular Goal Keeper, Hannah Godfrey. Calderdale started well, at one point drawing 22-22.
Unfortunately, Phoenix tightened up their defence and took advantage of Calderdale's errors, allowing them to edge away and take the lead. Despite Calderdale's best efforts, Phoenix widened the gap and pulled away, with the final quarter ending 28-22 to Phoenix.