York Valkyrie began their 2023 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Group Four campaign by securing a dominant 44-4 win against Barrow Raiders at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium.
York ran in three tries in three sets during the opening quarter of an hour, with Tamzin Renouf, Chloe Smith and Georgia Taylor crossing the whitewash, before Barrow hit back through Emma Hutchinson.
Thereafter, the Valkyrie hit 32 answered points, as Taylor completed her double, Emma Kershaw managed a brace and Aimee Staveley, Liv Whitehead and Lacey Owen went over.
Barrow managed to hold out Lindsay Anfield’s side for just eight minutes before a roll of three successive scores.
On the back of a six-again, Renouf profited from an overlap down the right side before Smith dummied her way over after Liv Wood’s break from halfway.
A Tara Jane Stanley cut-out pass found Taylor, who inside-stepped through the line in the left corner.
Barrow put their sole points on the board on 24 minutes when Claire Hutchinson wriggled out of a tackle and sent Emma Hutchinson in by the right corner flag. Jodie Litherland sent the conversion across the sticks.
York hit back when Staveley’s rampaging run close to the line saw her prove too big and too strong for the Barrow goal-line defence.
Having missed her first three, Tara Jane Stanley landed the conversion, the first of three goals from six attempts.
The Valkyrie closed the half out in style as Taylor broke clear from halfway and brought up a 24-4 lead at the half time.
Just two minutes after the restart, Kershaw walked in down the left from a well-worked shift play before a couple of long passes from Smith and Georgie Hetherington sent Whitehead over.
After an hour, Owen extended the lead from long-range break after a 20m restart before Kershaw completed her double with seven minutes to go, dummying over the line.
Having seen Whitehead miss the former, Smith converted the latter, the final points of the afternoon.
Barrow: Larkin, E. Hutchinson, Cottier, Stirzaker, Norman, Pattinson, Litherland, Sherlock, Morley, C. Hutchinson, Smith, Fisher
Subs (all used): Friend, Jackson, Clarke, Lloyd
Tries: E. Hutchinson (24’)
Goals: Litherland (0/1)
York: Stanley, Whitehead, Renouf, Kershaw, Taylor, Smith, Gale, Wood, Peach, Field, Owen, Andrade, Hetherington
Subs (all used): Staveley, Lambert, Sanderson, Sharp
Tries: Renouf (8’), Smith (12’), Taylor (15’, 38’), Staveley (28’), Kershaw (42’, 73’), Whitehead (45’), Owen (64’)
Goals: Stanley (3/6), Whitehead (0/1), Smith (1/1)
Geoff Pryce Player of the Match in partnership with Isaac Poad Brewing: Liv Wood