AFTER a successful pre-season and with a new coach on board, the Dragons were in confident mood of taking three points from their opening League clash at Rotherham Ladies.
But despite a strike from Nicci Bagshaw and having most of the pressure, it was Rotherham who came away with the points from a 2-1 win.
The Dragons had Rotherham hemmed back in their defensive area early on but struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Due to new league rules, Dragons encountered two home umpires who seemed determined to give Rotherham every advantage, but the visitors rose above it and played some excellent passing hockey – the only thing that was missing was a goal to cap off some solid play.
Rotherham took their opportunity and kept a foothold in the game, and a rare breakaway and some confusion in defence led to them taking a shock lead.
Dragons regrouped and dominated possession, and some excellent passing led to a goal from Bagshaw.
With words of encouragement at half time Dragons again dominated play, but a breakaway by Rotherham resulted in a second goal.
Dragons II 5 Tadcaster Magnets 3
THE season got off to a promising start for the Seconds with a well-earned win over Tadcaster Magnets.
It looked promising after a goal by Becky Pinder gave Huddersfield an early lead, but Tadcaster fought back, and took the lead, with a strike from a short-corner and then a second against the run of play.
Dragons started the second half as they had started the first, with a great strike and second goal for Pinder, but just as before with the Dragons feeling to have control of the game, they were again caught on the back foot, and despite a great initial save from keeper Nic Todd, they found themselves behind for the second time.
Huddersfield continued to drive forward and were rewarded with a short corner goal from captain Mariella Dobson to level the score again.
A goal by newcomer Chanelle Luxford put Dragons in front, and they were not going to let it slip again. Todd continued to keep Tadcaster in check and a fantastic run by player-of-the-match Nikki Turner, which saw her slip round the keeper and slot the ball past two defenders on the line, sealed the points for Dragons.
Team:Todd, Clark, Dobson, Eade, Durrans, Hargreaves, Takeuchi, Luxford, Turner, Peyman, Pinder, Ramsden.
Dragons III 2Doncaster Independent 0
NEWLY-promoted, Dragons’ Third string opened their season in fine style, looking confident and in control.
Doncaster penetrated the Dragons defence a couple of times in the first half but were swiftly dealt with and Huddersfield went ahead when Lisa Lawton converted a penalty corner strike from Sarah Walters.
Excellent team play saw Huddersfield go from strength to strength and Lawton got her second to seal the game.
And with fine debut games from Ginni Dunne, Lizzie Casson, Kate Durrans and keeper Emma Livesey, Dragons are looking to have another strong season.
Team:Livesey, McCallum, Morroll, Monchuk, Mallinson, Bailey, Bates, Walters, Dunne, Lawton, Casson, Durrans
Huddersfield Men I 4 Sunderland 3
THE first home match of the season started off promisingly with Huddersfield dominating possession.
The pressure led to three quick goals with only a couple of long-ball breaks from the away side causing problems as Huddersfield went in 3-0 up at half time.
The second half started positively again for Huddersfield but this quickly died as Sunderland scored two from breakaways.
This put the match back on edge and Huddersfield lost shape and concentration and reverted back to playing long-ball hockey, which was easy for Sunderland to intercept.
The visitors equalised from a short corner half way through the second half which seemed to kick-start Huddersfield back into gear, and a wonderful piece of skill and determination from man-of-the-match Jimmy Swinden put Huddersfield back in front with five minutes to go, which is how it stayed.
Team: King, Clark, Buckley, Gregory, Kaye, Wyer, Kelly, Haigh, Pembleton, Swinden, Courtney, Lee, Jones
Huddersfield III 1 Acomb 2
AFTER a none too convincing pre-season, Huddersfield Thirds took to the Lockwood astro, and to an all new matchday formation, as well as a new central defensive line-up from last year.
The game started slowly, both teams finding it difficult to put phases of possession together, but it was the visitors who scrambled an opening goal on 15 minutes. Dragons hit back, with good driving play from Harris, Abbey and Dallas, resulting in two efforts disallowed, one for obstruction and the second effort striking a Huddersfield foot as it was going in.
To compound this double disappointment, Huddersfield then conceded a soft second goal and went into the interval 2-0 down.
The second period proved to be a far brighter affair, with Christie, Harris and Thornton, on debut, pushing up the pitch and Acomb conceding a number of penalty corners.
The visitors were kept in the game by a dozen superb goalkeeping saves before Huddersfield finally made their pressure pay with a strike from a penalty corner 15 minutes from time by super sub Sandy Haigh.
Despite continued constant pressure, the home team failed to find the equaliser.
Bradley 2 Huddersfield V 1
LAST season the Dragons missed out on promotion only on goal difference, so hopes were high when they played their opening league game of the season against Bradley, who had been relegated from the league above.
Huddersfield started slowly and chances were created, but it was Bradley who scored first with a breakaway through the middle which put two players through on goal and left the left winger with an easy finish.
In the second half Bradley extended their lead from a short corner when the Huddersfield right-back succeeded only in deflecting a low flick past his own goalkeeper. Almost immediately the Dragons struck back when an excellent cross-shot from Ali Chaman was intercepted by Paddy Flavin, who scored his first ever league goal from close in.
Huddersfield mounted a real onslaught on the Bradley goal, forcing a number of short corners but just couldn’t find an equaliser.
Team:James Ridings, Donovan, Wood, Kullar, Laithwaite, Flavin, Bland, Dallas, Greenberry, Dales, Chaman.