IN THE absence of captain Rob Kelly and Jimmy Swinden, top goalscorer Martin Hirst led Huddersfield Dragons to a 3-1 win over local rivals Leeds Adel Carnegie.
It was a hard-fought victory for the Dragons, who had lost 5-2 at home the previous day to North League Division II East leaders Whitley Bay, and David Pemberton, filling in at centre-half, was outstanding and took the man-of-the-match vote.
Leeds went ahead but Hirst levelled the scores by half-time with his opening strike, and then put his side ahead with his second from the restart.
With the match in the balance and both sides having chances, Pete Lee sealed the win for the Dragons when he scored five minutes from time.
Team: Cowden, Hannam, Austerberry, Kaye, Gregory, Peachey, Pemberton, Lee, Buckley, Hirst, Haigh, Clarke, Foster.
Bradford III 1 Dragons V 7
DRAGONS knew full well they not only had to win, but win well against a struggling Bradford side to boost their goal difference in the battle for promotion, and they took an early lead with Mike Pogson hitting the net.
Martin Laithwaite made it two with an excellent shot from the top of the D, but that was how it stayed until half-time – Dragons being deprived of a third when Pogson fell in the process of shooting.
Nick Saxelby was a constant threat to Bradford with his runs and Dragons were soon on the board in the second half, as goals from Conrad Dales and Laithwaite and Pogson made it 5-0.
Keeper Paul Renfrey conceded a late goal when he was impeded, but Ali Chaman and Gary Clarke ensured an impressive scoreline with two more strikes.
Dragons know it will be much tougher this weekend, when they face a double-header against promotion rivals Thirsk, playing at home on Saturday and away on Sunday.
Dragons Ladies II 4 Driffield 4
THIS was a bottom of the table clash and Driffield quickly stole a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes.
Dragons woke up and started to move the ball around, which produced a goal for Fielding, and then a second to level the contest from the same player from a short corner.
It was end to end play in the second half with the Dragons taking the lead through Green, only for Driffield to equalise.
Huffy again put Huddersfield in front which looked like bringing Dragons their first win, but Driffield levelled in the last minute of the game.
Team: Martin, Di Napoli, Dobson, Dunne, Wells, Dunne (jnr), Stacey, Fielding, Brown, Huffy, Green, Lawton.
Thirsk II 1 Dragons Ladies III 3
DRAGONS found it hard to come to terms with Thirsk’s newly-resurfaced pitch and it was the home side who dominated the first half, leading 1-0 at the break.
Confidence began to return to Huddersfield in the second half and Walters equalised with a good strike and then Thomas netted a rebound off the keeper to put the visitors ahead.
Player-of-the-match Morrol assisted in keeping the pressure on with some good runs and victory was sealed when new player Herring found the net.
Team: Todd, McCallum, Hamer, Morrol, Bates, Herring, Bailey, Walters, Roberts, Mallinson, Thomas.