Once again Barnsley Ladies rugby union team showed that they can make the step up into another league with another good win away at Darlington.
It was Darlington’s first match since the sudden death of their fly half Lyndsey Burns and a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both teams and spectators. The home team then asked Barnsley to kick the match off as a mark of respect.
Darlington finished second in the league last season, so Barnsley had an idea about the calibre of opponents they were to face in this league but it soon became apparent that the ladies were more than capable of holding their own.
Barnsley’s opening try came after only two minutes with winger Amber Abdurrahman leaving the Darlington defence in her wake to score. Alix Taylor’s conversion kick went wide in the swirling wind.
Most of the game was played out in the Darlington half and although at first the hosts seemed more at ease in the scrum Barnsley soon started to push them back.
A resulting penalty gave Taylor a chance to extend the lead which she duly dispatched.
Darlington eventually forced their way into the Barnsley half and through some powerful forward play managed to score, but the resulting conversion was missed, leaving the interval score 8-5 in Barnsley’s favour.
The visitors got off to a great start in the second period, as Fran Copley (pictured below) scored the first of her three second half tries after only 40 seconds on the clock, with Taylor adding the conversion.
Barnsley had made a couple of changes at the start of the second half but it did not disrupt the pattern of play. Dawn Woodcock and the Darlington lock were both yellow-carded for an altercation.
Barnsley felt a little aggrieved about the card but it seemed to galvanise them and immediately from the restart Copley once again sprinted down the wing for an unconverted try.
And five minutes later Copley went over for her hat-trick.
The match was over as a contest at this point but the home outfit scored a consolation try and conversion right at the final whistle leaving the final score, Darlington 12 Barnsley 27.