WESTSIDE will have to battle through the play-offs if they are to retain their position in Division Two of the West Midlands League for next season.
The city club needed a win in their final match of the season against Midrange to move clear of relegation danger but were defeated 45-40 by strong opponents whose victory assures them of the third promotion place.
Westside started with Debbie Bowdley at GK, Steph Snowzell GD, Kate Pearce WD, Rebecca Griffin C, Anna Mulderrig WA, Kerry Amos GA and Kate Morgan GS.
Both teams made strong starts but Westside struggled to get the ball into good shooting positions, despite good movement in the attacking third from Mulderrig and Griffin.
In the second quarter, Westside had moments of brilliance but were not able to maintain this form as Midrange's shooters held the ball well and converted turnovers to lead 22-17 at half-time.
Interval changes saw Westside draw closer to Midrange's score but the promotion-chasers rallied again to hold the five-point advantage at three-quarter time.
And although Westside had an early surge at the beginning of the final quarter, but Midrange ground out the victory to earn their top-three spot.
"I'm extremely pleased with the fight the whole squad has shown over the last stretch of the season," said captain and player-of-the-match Snowzell, whose team has picked up three wins and a draw from their final six matches.
And coach Helen Bowden is confident that the team can carry their recent improvement into the play-off games.
"I have been extremely happy with this season's development squad and I hope our current form will mean we are able to come through play-offs in May and be able to represent Hereford again next season," she said.