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Sheffield Eagles 10-74 York Valkyrie - Match Report

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York Valkyrie began their 2024 season with a 74-10 rout of Sheffield Eagles in Group One of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup at Olympic Legacy Park.

Geoff Pryce Player of the Match Savannah Andrade was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick while Kelsey Gentles - who missed all of 2023 after giving birth to her daughter Maia - debutant Eboni Partington and 2022 Woman of Steel Tara Jane Jane Stanley bagged doubles.

Youngster Eva Izumi, also making her Valkyrie bow, also found the whitewash alongside Rhiannion Marshall, Jas Bell and Alex Stimpson, the latter featuring for the first time since 2021 after long-term injury issues.

York did not have it all their own way at Olympic Legacy Park though, falling behind inside the first five minutes when Agnes Wood grounded Sarah Palmer's kick.

A quick-fire pair of tries from Andrade and Gentles put the Valkyrie in front before Stanley and Izumi found their way over the whitewash, with Stanley scoring 11 of 13 conversions.

Stanley completed her brace before half-time while Stimpson and Marshall also dotted down prior to the interval for a 40-4 lead.

Partington twice profited down the left flank in the space of five minutes after the restart while Andrade crossed in-between the England winger's two scores.

Wood hit a consolation for Sheffield in the final quarter but the Valkyrie's scoring did not relent.

Andrade completed her hat-trick, Gentles rounded her double before Bell hit the 13th and final try at the death.

York: Stanley, Partington, Renouf, Kershaw, Izumi, Rihari, Marshall, Gentles, Eastwood, Sharp, Wood, Andrade, Bell

Subs (all used): Taylor, Sanderson, Lambert, Stimpson

18th Player: Hendry

Tries: Andrade (8', 50', 69'), Gentles (10', 79'), Stanley (16', 33'), Izumi (20'), Stimpson (36'), Marshall (39'), Partington (48', 53'), Bell (80')

Goals: Stanley (11/13)

Sheffield: Judd, Fisher, Evans, Troullouri, Thomas, Wood, Palmer, Auger, Sayles, Saunders, Green, Arnold, Parker

Subs (all used): Bosworth, Colclough, Moxon

18th Player: N/A

Tries: Wood (4', 63')

Goals: Thomas (1/2)

Match report by Andreas Schoinarakis 


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