'Couldn't be any more important': Kendal Ladies goalkeeper Fiona Battersby refuses to shy away from crucial weekend fixture

The Westmorland Gazette: Defeat: University of Durham Defeat: University of Durham

KENDAL Ladies goalkeeper Fiona Battersby is refusing to shy away from the importance of her side’s fixture at bottom of the table Doncaster this weekend – with league survival up for grabs.

A win in South Yorkshire would all but guarantee Kendal’s Investec Conference North status, while mathematically the door remains open to all teams in the relegation frame.

Kendal’s final game of the season is at home to league leaders Brooklands Poynton, with Battersby determined to get the job done on Saturday and remove any unnecessary tension.

“The Doncaster game couldn’t be any more important and there is a heck of a lot of pressure on us to perform and get the three points we desperately need,” she said.

“And I would say the whole season comes down to this weekend. The bottom four sides could all still survive in the league if the points don’t go our way.

“It’s absolutely crucial we win this weekend so we know we’re pretty much safe and can then go into the final game and enjoy it.

“We’re desperate to be in this league again next season and have the chance to improve upon what we’ve done so far. We’ll be out celebrating on Saturday for sure if we win.”

Kendal came close to securing vital points in their most recent match but lost by the odd goal in seven to high-flying University of Durham at Kirkbie Kendal School.

Molly Rawnsley opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the first-half before Carole Quill restored parity five minutes later.

Rosie Dale and Vicky Jones twice gave Kendal the lead only for Natasha Nichols and Ellen Paterson to reply for Durham before the break.

And despite playing some fluent hockey, Kendal were undone by Camilla McWhirter’s winner on 52 minutes as Durham maintained their interest in the title race.

“It’s the way our luck seems to be going at the moment,” added Battersby. “We played so well and could have ended up with a result only for it to be taken away from us towards the end.

“It was an absolutely brilliant performance which couldn’t have been bettered really but it wasn’t meant to be.

“However, if we play like that at the weekend I’m 100% confident we can beat Doncaster. It was a benchmark performance in many ways.

“We’ve trained hard this week and hopefully we’ll take that into Saturday’s game.”

 

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