A fantastic volley from Jess Round gave Durham a 1-0 victory over London Bees and gave the Wildcats their first three points of the season.
Round scored in the 64th minute after latching onto a Zoe Ness ball to send it over Rowlands and into the back of the net.
It was the Wildcats who started brightly when a counter-attack saw Ness break clean through on goal only for Cherie Rowlands to produce a fantastic save to deny the Scotland U19 international.
Play was stopped when Megan Goss and Victoria Linsley clashed heads in a 50/50 ball which saw Goss come off worse and replaced by Anneka Nuttall with what looked like a serious head injury.
The game resumed with London Bees having their first clear effort on goal when Lucy Loomes latched onto a long ball. The striker attempted to chip Katie Luther but her effort was way over the bar.
A fantastic open period of play saw end-to-end action, Caroline Dixon’s powerful header was cleared off the line and Billie Brooks for the Bees rose high from a corner to head narrowly over.
Beth Hepple nearly broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when her first-time shot from a Lauren Jordinson layoff had to be acrobatically saved by Rowlands.
The remainder of the first half continued with both teams having plenty of chances on the ball and the away side were defending strongly through Dixon and Kate Bradley.
Chontelle Lawrence came close for the Bees when her strike in the 38th minute dropped onto the roof of the net.
Durham were playing with confidence, moving the ball between themselves well and Hepple played Rosie Young through on goal whose fantastic effort had to be saved by Rowlands.
For the first time this season a fantastic performance from the Wildcats saw them end the first half without conceding any goals.
Half time and the score was 0-0.
The second half saw Durham continue where they left off and it was Ness and Jess Round who both had scoring chances but were denied by Rowlands.
Durham where on top in this tie and the continued possession restricted the Bees from finding their way into the away sides half.
But the deadlock was broken in the 64th minute when Ness’s through ball to Round saw the winger’s first-time volley crash into the back of the net to give the North East side the lead.
The Wildcats had to be alert to London Bees’ resurgence and Katie Luther produced a wonderful save to deny Nuttall. Their resulting corner was then cleared off the line by the Durham defence.
There were dangerous moments in the 80th minute when Linsley tackled Loomes in the box, the striker went down and the home side appealed for a penalty but they were turned away by the referee.
Durham looked happy to keep the ball and continued to move the ball around to limit the Bees chances on goal. Their defending was standing strong and they were clearly frustrating the home side.
Despite a frantic last few minutes that saw the Bees try to find an equaliser, one goal from Round was enough to give the Wildcats their first points of the season.