York City Knights Ladies began their 2022 season with a strong showing and devastating attacking display on Sunday, securing a 0-78 victory over Dewsbury Moor away in West Yorkshire.
With a handful of England internationals involved, including Tara Jane Stanley who scored five tries from the interchange bench, the game wasn’t a contest after the opening ten minutes but credit is due to the Dewsbury team who kept going till the very end.
Second-rower Olivia Wood opened the scoring, finishing a move from twenty-five metres out, before Mary Tiplady – lining up alongside Georgie Hetherington in the halves – pulled off an excellent show and go to cross for her first try of the season.
On the twentieth minute. Rhiannion Marshall – impressive throughout and the scorer of three – went over under the sticks to give the Ladies a healthy lead before, three minutes later, co-captain Sinead Peach went over after Bettie Lambert went close.
Shortly after the half-hour mark, Stanley scored her first of the afternoon after running the ball wide to the corner to get off the mark in Knights colours. An excellent second from Marshall came after a half-break from Peach saw the hooker offload to the loose-forward who went over from forty metres out to strengthen an already commanding lead.
A great run from debutant Jasmine Bell set the platform for Daisy Sanderson to score shortly before the half-time hooter, the prop going on a mazy run to eventually ground under the sticks.
Three conversions – two from Stanley and one from full-back Olivia Whitehead – gave Lindsay Anfield’s team a 0-34 half-time lead and a strong second half showing saw the relentless Knights score a further eight tries.
The first of the second period saw winger Kelsey Gentles, off the interchange bench, score on the 43rd minute with Stanley converting. Stanley then crossed after an excellent break saw her weave around and outpace the Dewsbury defence before scoring under the sticks.
Stanley then completed her hat-trick after a break from Marshall gave Stanley the stage to cross for her third.
She then went over for her fourth after Gentles produced a fast play the ball. Peach was then able to jump from dummy-half to break the line before giving Stanley the position to cross under the sticks.
Stanley then completed her quintuple before a seventy-metre break gave Gentles the ball to dive over from close range for her second of the afternoon.
In the final ten minutes, Emma Kershaw scored her first try in Knights colours before Marshall completed her hat-trick and, after four conversions from Stanley and two from Whitehead, the final score stood at 0-78.
Dewsbury: Faith McKay, Chloe Broadbent, Reanne Harrison, Ebony Briggs, Annabel Loney, Cody-Lou Marsh, Millie Taylor, Alice Iwanejko, Lacie Bruines, Maddison Rainey, Caitlin Johnson, Olivia Richards, Courtney Marsh.
Interchanges: Lucy Thomas, Mary Marsden, Mya-Grace Taylor, Molly Hinchcliffe
York: Olivia Whitehead, Mel Halstead, Ash Hyde, Bettie Lambert, Georgia Taylor, Georgie Hetherington, Mary Tiplady, Daisy Sanderson, Sinead Peach, Emily Farrow, Emma Kershaw, Olivia Wood, Rhiannion Marshall.
Interchanges: Tara Jane Stanley, Rhianna Aldridge, Kelsey Gentles, Jasmine Bell
Tries: Olivia Wood, Mary Tiplady, Rhiannion Marshall (3), Kelsey Gentles (2), Sinead Peach, Daisy Sanderson, Tara Jane Stanley (5), Emma Kershaw
Goals: Tara Jane Stanley (6), Olivia Whitehead (3)