Derby Vipers 0, Barnsley Ladies 50
(RFU Women’s National Junior Cup)
With both these teams unbeaten in their respective leagues one of them had to lose their proud record and it was Derby who succumbed as Barnsley swept aside their opposition with a superb performance.
There was no sign of the indiscipline that Barnsley had shown the previous week at Crewe & Nantwich.They dominated possession throughout and at no time was their try line threatened.
Stronger in the breakdowns and scrums, Barnsley notched their first try when Jess Roberts picked up the ball after Becky Patrick had been tackled just short of the line after making a run from the back of the scrum.
The second try came immediately from the restart and it was probably the best of the season so far. Four phases of play saw Rosie Whittaker break from her own half, backed up by Simone Saunders, and these two indulged in some great inter-passing before Whittaker crossed the line.
Barnsley’s line outs were also paying dividends, with driving mauls setting up play for the backs, and once again the kicking of Alix Taylor gained territorial advantage, as was the case when it allowed Fran Copley to sprint down the wing for try number three.
The next try came from a tried and tested route. Awarded a penalty from a driving maul, Jess Roberts took the quick tap, catching Derby off-guard to go over in the corner for her second try. After three successful conversions this time the kick of Taylor fell just short.
The final points of the half were scored by Taylor after Barnsley were awarded a penalty, giving the Shaw Lane side an interval lead of 29-0.
It was much the same story after the break, with Barnsley dominating possession. They drove the Derby defence over their own try line to force a five-metre scrum from which Patrick combined once again with Roberts for the latter to to complete her third hat-trick of the season.
After a kick from Hailey Swann forced Derby back towards their own try line, a poor clearance was caught on the right wing by Fran Copley who made space passing along the line to Katie England, then to Swann and subsequently onto the opposite wing for Leonora Salvucci to score.
As much as Derby’s defence tried, they were kept busy as Barnsley carried on pressing and eventually Roberts (pictured) once again pounced on a loose ball a couple of metres out to go over for her fourth try of the match.
The consistent kicking of Taylor took the points to 50 with her sixth conversion from seven.
This is the sixth time this season Barnsley have piled up 50 points or more and the seventh where they have kept a clean sheet. They now await the draw to see who they will face in the quarter finals.
Next Sunday (February12) is the Ladies’ Sponsors’ Day and hopefully they can make it a day for celebration, as they will wrap up their second successive league title and promotion if they can secure a victory against local rivals Doncaster Demons. Kick-off is 2.30pm.