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York Valkyrie run riot at 2023 Women's Nines Festival


York Valkyrie kicked off the defence of their Women's Nines title in perfect fashion, recording three comprehensive victories at Warrington’s Victoria Park.


On a sunny day in Lancashire, York ran riot as they defeated Barrow Raiders 30-4, Hull FC 44-0 and Workington Town 60-0.


While some of the stars of the Betfred Women’s Super League featured in the York squad, Director of Rugby Lindsay Anfield also gave a number of youngsters plenty of time to shine.


First-team debutants Eva Izumi and Chevelle Clarke both featured during the Festival, while the likes of Matilda Butler and Chloe Smith were able to add points.


In the opening match against Barrow, the Valkyrie got off to a flying start as Tara Jane Stanley scored after just three minutes. The Woman of Steel powered over 60 metres before crashing over and converting her own effort.


Georgie Hetherington extended the lead before Barrow hit back with a try of their own – the only try scored against the Valkyrie throughout the day.


Georgia Taylor reinstated York’s dominance with a try down the right side while further scores from Hetherington and Butler completed the 30-4 victory.


In the second game, the Valkyrie squared off against Hull FC and took less than 60 seconds to go in front. Stanley produced a 70-metre special before touching down under the posts.


Butler and Liv Whitehead stamped their names on the scoresheet, while Stanley completed her brace to hand York a 24-0 lead at the break.


The second half belonged to Ashleigh Hyde who scored twice in as many minutes. Emma Kershaw and Hetherington added more points to secure a 44-0 victory for the defending champions.


The final group game saw York go head-to-head with Workington.


Once again, the Valkyrie went ahead in the opening minute as Taylor exposed a gap down the left side before touching down under the posts.


Hetherington was able to score a two-minute brace before Bettie Lambert and Kershaw secured a 35-0 half-time lead.


Liv Wood showed class after the break as she scored her own two-minute brace. Ellie Hendry and Liv Gale joined the scoring party as the Valkyrie celebrated a 60-0 victory.


York Valkyrie 30-4 Barrow Raiders

York: Stanley, Lambert, Kershaw, Gale, Hyde, Wood, Hetherington, Hendry, Marshall

Subs: Butler, Izumi, Taylor, Clarke, Whitehead, Smith

Tries: Stanley (3'), Hetherington (6', 15'), Taylor (11'), Butler (17')

Goals: Stanley (3/4), Smith (1/1)


York Valkyrie 44-0 Hull FC

York: Stanley, Izumi, Clarke, Gale, Whitehead, Wood, Hetherington, Hendry, Butler

Subs: Sanderson, Lambert, Taylor, Kershaw, Hyde, Smith

Tries: Stanley (1', 7'), Butler (5'), Whitehead (9'), Hyde (12', 14'), Kershaw (16'), Hetherington (17')

Goals: Stanley (2/3), Smith (1/2), Whitehead (1/3)


York Valkyrie 60-0 Workington Town

York: Stanley, Lambert, Clarke, Smith, Taylor, Sanderson, Hetherington, Kershaw, Butler

Subs: Wood, Izumi, Whitehead, Hendry, Hyde, Gale

Tries: Taylor (1'), Hetherington (3', 6'), Lambert (7'), Kershaw (8'), Wood (10', 12'), Hendry (15'), Gale (17')

Goals: Stanley (5/5), Whitehead (3/4)


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