Barnsley Ladies 58, Sunderland Flames
Playing their first match for three weeks, Barnsley Ladies recorded their biggest league win of the season as they ran in ten tries against Sunderland in an encounter they totally dominated..
Captain Alix Taylor opened the scoring after only three minutes, jinking through the Sunderland defence and then kicking the conversion.
The visitors Sunderland had a chance to equalise when their winger made a break from inside her own half, but was caught and tackled five metres from the try line by Fran Copley.
Barnsley’s second try came after Jess Roberts was tackled on the line after making a break from a scrum. The ball was picked up by Hannah Greenaway who drove over, the line, Taylor adding the conversion.
Taylor scored her second try after being put clear by Jess Roberts from another scrum following a knock-on.
Greenaway added her second try a couple of minutes later after a great break from Claire Fisher.
Sunderland’s second chance came from another break through the centre but Barnsley’s defence held firm.
Trailing 24-0 at the break Sunderland’s frustration was evident two minutes after the restart when they were reduced to 14 players after their flanker was yellow carded.
Barnsley made the advantage count straight away when substitute Katie England went over in the corner to score her side’s fifth try, thus securing the bonus point.
Becky Patrick made it six when she picked the ball up from the back of the scrum and powered over the line, Taylor converting.
Barnsley kept up the pressure and a few minutes later Copley (pictured) went over in the corner to score the first of her three tries.
Sunderland’s best attack of the second half saw them get to the Barnsley 22 but no further as once again the Shaw Lane side turned the ball over and cleared upfield.
Barnsley’s eighth try came from Jess Roberts who dummied a pass to Leonora Salvucci and opened a gap to touch down.
A great break by Katie England set up Copley’s second try, again converted by Taylor.
Copley then completed her second hat-trick of the season when she went over in the corner following a line out.
Sunderland played the last five minutes with 14 players after their fly half was yellow carded for foul play after a high tackle on Lauren McKenzie, but this time Barnsley failed to capitalise on the advantage.
The margin of success means that Barnsley have closed the gap on Birkenhead to a single point after the league leaders were held to a much closer 10-5 margin of victory against Sefton.
Barnsley travel to Kendal on Sunday for the last match of 2017. Their first match of 2018 will be an away cup tie against Sunderland on the 7 January.