Valkyries maintain fine form at Harrogate

Harrogate 5-29 Scarborough Valkyries. Report by Dave Campbell.
Harrogate 5-29 Scarborough Valkyries. Report by Dave Campbell.

The Valkyries were the first side from Scarborough to play at Harrogate’s new ground at Rudding Lane and came away a victory that extends their unbeaten run in the Northern Woman’s League.

With the Valkyries’ specialist props injured and unavailable for this game, it was played with uncontested scrums which may have put the heavier home pack at a disadvantage.

On a perfect afternoon for rugby the early exchanges were evenly contested, but the Valkyries soon settled to their task and sent Mel Halstead in for the first try of the match in the 11th minute for a 5-0 lead.

The Scarborough side laid siege to the home line but a combination of Harrogate defence and white line fever conspired to thwart their efforts to stretch the lead.

And having squandered so many chances, the visitors were stunned when Harrogate scored from close range following a tap penalty to level the scores at 5-5 in the 20th minute.

Stung into action the Valkyries re-doubled their efforts and following slick handling in the home 22, pocket-rocket Aisling Robinson powered over wide on the left in the 35th minute for a 10-5 lead.

The Scarborough ladies started the second half with some running rugby and it was no surprise when the irrepressible Jess Bray broke loose to score in the 50th minute.

Halstead converted with the first successful place kick of the afternoon for 17-5.

The visitors took control of the fourth quarter and further tries from skipper and scrum-half Cathy-Ann Myers, converted by Halstead, and Claire Wilkinson wrapped the game up at 29-5.

Hopefully the Valkyries will be able to field props for their next game but they were the better side all over the paddock with their handling improving game on game.

Although all 15 women played their part, dynamic wing Robinson, skipper Myers and workaholic Halstead were outstanding.

Player of the Match: Mel Halsead

Although Aisling Robinson was in the running, Halstead earned the player of the match accolade with her non-stop running, handling, finishing and goal kicking.