Barnsley Ladies 64, Halifax 5
(National Challenge League One)
Barnsley had already secured the title before this match was played, having been awarded a walkover last Tuesday for Doncaster’s no show a fortnight ago.
With six regulars missing Barnsley were forced to make changes not only to personnel, but also positionally. providing an opportunity for some of the fringe players and to look at alternative positions.
Even so, it was clear from the first whistle that they were still a dominant force..
Halifax immediately found themselves on the back foot as Sally Wenham made a powerful run and it took only two minutes for Helen Colclough to open the scoring. With captain and regular kicker Alix Taylor unavailable Becky Patrick took over kicking duties and she notched the first of her seven conversions.
Lucy Norris extended the lead after 10 minutes and stand-in captain Rosie Whittaker scored the first of her hat-trick of tries with a great run through the Halifax defence.
Barnsley were forced to make a couple of early changes when both Jess Sayles and Charlotte Dixon had to leave the pitch. Sayles withdrawal was more of a precaution after twisting her knee, while Dixon suffered from a clash of heads which also saw the Halifax player requiring stitches to a cut on her chin.
Leonora Salvucci scored Barnsleys fourth with a sprint down the wing and Sarah Hill added the fifth, thus securing the bonus point with only 22 minutes played.
Whittaker found gaps in the Halifax line to add two more tries before the first half ended, leaving Barnsley with a 43-0 interval lead.
It would have been so easy for Halifax to totally capitulate but they carried on gallantly. Even after Becky Patrick and Lucy Norris scored they never stopped battling andthey gradually started to snuff out Barnsley’s attacks.
On the hour mark Rosie Whittaker was shown a yellow card for a high tackle and while Barnsley were down to 14 Halifax took their chance and scored a consolation try when their forwards managed to drive the ball over in the corner.
The last play of the game saw Simone Saunders touch down.
Next week Barnsley travel to Altrincham for their penultimate league match of the season when they will be trying to extend their unbeaten league stretching back to September 2015.
Barnsley have chartered two coaches for their cup semi-final clash against Lewes on 12th March, leaving Shaw Lane at 7am at a cost of £20 per person. Anyone wishing to book a seat to go and support the team should contact Stuart Bennett on 07710 224143.
- Picture shows Becky Patrick kicking one of her seven conversions