Barnsley Ladies 43, Manchester 7
Barnsley extended their unbeaten run in league competition to 29 matches with this convincing victory over Manchester.
Barnsley started brightly and quickly put Manchester under pressure, forcing a penalty which was taken quickly by Becky Patrick who caught the defence sleeping to touchdown for the first points. The conversion was duly dispatched by Alix Taylor.
The second and third tries came from Fran Copley, the first after sustained pressure on the Manchester line and the second after Sally Wenham turned the ball over. Taylor converted one from two.
Manchester got onto the scoresheet at the end of the first half after their outside centre picked up the ball after a misplaced Barnsley pass in her own half and sprinted under the posts.Remarkably it was the first time in the match that any Manchester player had crossed into the Barnsley 22.
The second half saw Barnsley make a few changes to the line-up as they once again started brightly with Leonora Salvucci scoring their fourth try after three minutes of the restart.
The fifth try and bonus point came from captain Taylor who scored after spotting a gap in the Manchester defence, breaking through to touch down.
Barnsley got on the scoresheet twice more. Substitute Sarah Carter broke down the right after play was switched and then Hailey Swann completed the tally.
She picked the ball up from the back of the ruck in her own half, sprinted forward and, when about to be tackled with no support, elected to kick and chase, grubbing a second kick. She then Hailey picked the ball up only a yard from the line and touched down.
Becky Patrick took over kicking duties for the last 2 conversion which both went over.
This leaves Barnsley one point clear at the top of the league from Birkenhead Park, who also secured their third win but failed to pick up a bonus point against Darlington.
Barnsley’s next match is at home on Sunday in the first round of the RFU Women’s Intermediate Cup against Darlington, kick off 2pm.
- Stewart Clarke’s photo shows Hannah Greenaway at the line-out