Kenilworth Ladies 26 – Barnsley Ladies 24
Barnsley Ladies Intermediate Cup run came to an end at the hands of Kenilworth with the last kick of the game.
Barnsley looked in charge of the match but three second half tries in 12 minutes from the home team changed the game.
The Shaw Laners started brightly, forcing Kenilworth back in their own half, but some resolute defending kept them at bay until the 18th minute when a sniping run from Jess Roberts resulted in the opening try in the corner. Unfortunately the conversion attempt from Becky Patrick was unsuccessful.
Kenilworth then took the lead when a couple of missed tackles allowed them to score a try of their own, the conversion putting them in front.
Katie England restored Barnsley’s advantage after intercepting a pass and this time back Patrick slotted over the conversion.
Just before the end of the first half Georgina Staples (pictured) extended Barnsley’s lead when she powered through the Kenilworth, another conversion from Patrick adding 2 more points, making the interval score 19-7
Barnsley started the second half where they left off, pushing the hosts back, but the defence held firm and on the 10 minute mark one of the Kenilworth wingers broke free down the wing and, leaving Barnsley in her wake, touched down.
The Conversion was missed, but the try started the 12 minutes in which Kenilworth scored two more tries, both in a similar vein, as the usually Strong Barnsley defence was breached. Two conversions gave the home side a seven-point lead.
Barnsley seemed a little shocked and took sometime to regain their composure, but some great defensive tackles managed to stop Kenilworth extending their lead.
With 10 minutes left Barnsley suffered a couple of injuries to Jess Roberts and Sally Wenham which meant a change of personnel and positions.
In the last five minutes Barnsley laid siege at the Kenilworth 5 metre line but they were again kept at bay until they moved the ball from left to right and eventually, with the last play of the game opened up on the right and Staples once again touched.
That left Alix Taylor, who had come on as substitute, needing to land a kick from a tight angle to draw level and take the match into extra time, but the ball shaved the wrong side of the upright and the referee brought a halt to the proceedings, leaving Kenilworth to go through to the semi-final.
Barnsley’s disappointment was lifted a little when they learned that Birkenhead Panthers had been surprisingly beaten 17-5 by Sunderland Flames in a rearranged match.
Although Birkenhead picked up a losing bonus point it now leaves Barnsley needing only one point from their last two matches to secure the league title. If Birkenhead fail to win and pick up a try bonus in both of their last two matches the title will be Barnsley’s regardless.
Barnsley’s next match – a possible title clincher – is away at Sunderland on March 11th.
Photo by Richard Saunders