Lewes 8, Barnsley Ladies 5
(Junior Cup semi-final)
Only a drop goal separated these two sides as Barnsley’s bid to reach the national trophy final came to grief at the last hurdle.
It was Barnsley who started the brighter and within the first five minutes Lewes had one of their forwards yellow carded for a high tackle.
Unfortunately Barnsley were unable to capitalise on the numerical superiority in the scrum as the referee insisted that they dropped a player from the scrum to keep the numbers even.
Barnsley eventually opened the scoring when Leonora Salvucci went over for a try after some good passing play which opened a gap for her to score. Unfortunately Alix Taylor failed with the conversion.
Barnsley had a couple more chances but failed to take them.
They appeared to be getting stronger and were unfortunate when they advanced a good 20 yards with a driving maul from a line out but it was brought to as halt short of the Lewes line when one of the home players brought it down.
Barnsley were bemused when the referee awarded a penalty to Lewes who were consequently able to clear their lines.
Eventually the home team’s backs started to make inroads and they were eventually rewarded with a try of their own just before half time to draw the scores level.
The second half was pretty much nip and tuck, with most of the play in the centre of the pitch.
Lewes took the only real chance when their number 10 attempted a drop goal which just scraped over, taking the score to 8-5.
As much as they tried Barnsley just could not make any headway. Lewes defended resolutely and it seemed to the visitors they looked like gaining the upper hand the referee brought back play for an infringement.
Barnsley were left to make the long journey home from Sussex with just next week’s match at home to Ormskirk to come.
However, the season has still been a resounding success with back to back promotions in their first two years of competitive rugby.