Barnsley 39, Southport 0
(Championship 2 North)
Barnsley extended their lead at the top of the table with a seven-try victory over Southport.
With three wins over the visitors already in the last couple of years, Barnsley were full of confidence, but Southport are a decent side, with a strong pack and good defence, so victory was never going to be a mere formality.
In fact, Southport had the first opportunity to put points on the board when Barnsley were penalised, but the resulting kick went wide.
It was Barnsley who opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Southport passed the ball back into their own goal area from a line-out. A tackle resulted in the ball being spilled and Becky Patrick pounced for a try. Alix Taylor’s attempted conversion hit the upright.
Barnsley doubled their lead five minutes later when Simone Saunders powered trough the Southport defence on the wing. This time Taylor put her kick wide.
Barnsley kept up the pressure and Taylor chased down her own grubber kick to go over for her side’s third try, which she this time converted.
Just before half-time Jess Roberts got on the scoresheet after spotting a gap in the Southport defence. Remarkably, Taylor’s kick again hit the upright.
After the break Barnsley continued to put pressure on the Southport defence and were rewarded with another try by Taylor, thus securing their seventh try bonus from nine matches, and the same player added the conversion.
The sixth try of the day came after one of the Southport players tried to ground the ball in their goal area only to produce a replica of Barnsley’s opener, Georgia Staples going over the line after the ball had been spilled.
Taylor rounded things off with her hat-trick try, which resulted from some great inter-passing between herself and Saunders, and was the best of the match. The conversion was missed.
Second-placed Birkenhead also secured another victory, but could manage only a 10-5 scoreline against Kendal.
Barnsley’s next match is at home to Sefton this Sunday, kick-off 2.00pm.
- Richard Saunders’ photograph shows Jess Roberts going over for Barnsley’s fourth try.