York Valkyrie retained their 100% winning record at the halfway stage of the 2023 Betfred Women's Super League season as an Emma Kershaw hat-trick inspired a 48-8 win at Huddersfield Giants.
Kershaw's treble was supported by a double from Elisa Akpa - making her second debut after returning to the Club this week - as well as scores from Jas Bell, Ashleigh Hyde, Liv Gale and Liv Whitehead, the latter also contributing six goals.
A fifth straight BWSL victory ensured that York maintained their perfect start in the league, with a four-point gap currently in place above second-placed St Helens.
The Valkyrie made a dream start, scoring twice inside the opening seven minutes, first through Bell, who hit a crash from Sinead Peach's short pass close to the sticks before Kershaw finished off a right side shift after Sade Rihari beat a Giants defender.
Huddersfield responded when Lois Naidole crossed the whitewash on the back of a penalty, although Ellie Thompson was not able to convert.
Two quick-fire tries from the visitors were duly delivered in response. Peach's long dummy-half pass began the move to the left which Hyde finished, with Gale following across the line after a scoot out of acting-half.
Huddersfield replied through Amelia Brown, who profited from a right-edge over lap. Thompson again missed from the tee.
Before half-time, Akpa grabbed her first of the afternoon before the break when drive over from Peach's drop-off pass as York took a 26-8 lead into the break.
Kershaw claimed the second-half's first points with a clever step at the line nine minutes after the restart.
Huddersfield held out until after the hour, with Akpa breaking the deadlock when breezing through some tired defence after a mazy Gale break.
With a dozen minutes left, Kershaw wrapped up her treble, barging in at the right corner.
In the dying stages, Whitehead added her name to the list of try-scorers with the pick of the afternoon's four-points. Breaking from inside her own 20, the full-back raced under the sticks without a defender in sight.
Huddersfield: Bennett, Goodard, Thompson, Naidole, Brown, Townend, Grady, McPherson, Millward, Armstrong, Davidson, Morgan, Da Silva
Subs (all used): Howey, Barker, Simister, Carrington-Hobson
Tries: Naidole (15'), Brown (30')
Goals: Thompson (0/2)
York: Whitehead, Hendry, Hyde, Lambert, Kershaw, Rihari, Gale, Sanderson, Peach, Staveley, Andrade, Wood, Bell
Subs (all used): Taylor, Sharp, Clarke, Akpa
Tries: Bell (4'), Kershaw (7', 49', 67'), Hyde (19'), Gale (22'), Akpa (34', 63'), Whitehead (78')
Goals: Whitehead (6/9)
Geoff Pryce Player of the Match in partnership with Isaac Poad Brewing: Emma Kershaw