Valkyries valiant in defeat at high-flying Barnsley

Mel Halstead successfully converted Samantha Knight's 72nd-minute try to reduce the Valkyries' arrears
Mel Halstead successfully converted Samantha Knight's 72nd-minute try to reduce the Valkyries' arrears

The Scarborough Valkyries travelled to Barnsley looking to get back on track following their defeat by leaders York RI on their last league outing.

However, they found the South Yorkshire ladies in punishing form running in four second-half tries following a scoreless first half.

Despite strong winds and driving rain both sides produced a well-structured game although the elements made things difficult for the protagonists.

The Valkyries played with the wind in the first half but the slippery ball and capricious wind resulted in a glut of turnovers.

However the Scarborough girls harnessed the wind well and put Barnsley under pressure with some well-judged kicking out of hand but the home defence held firm.

Barnsley lost the services of flanker Chanel Rushforth, who was taken to hospital with concussion in the second quarter, but rallied to have a pot at goal just before half-time.

However, Katie England’s kick sailed wide and the half ended scoreless.

With the wind behind them in the second half Barnsley pressed Scarborough from the start it was no surprise when England went over to open the scoring and converted for a 7-0 lead.

Midway through the half further tries by Leonora Salvucci and Becky Patrick stretched the Barnsley lead to 17-0 as the visitors tired in the stamina-sapping conditions.

Barnsley were slow to a breakdown in the 72nd minute and Scarborough prop Samantha Knight picked up and powered through a gap to touchdown.

Mel Halstead added the extras to reduce the arrears to ten points at 17-7.

From the restart the south Yorkshire girls came straight back at the Valkyries and following good work by Sally Wenham and Sarah Hill, Dawn Woodcock went over for her side’s fourth try. England converted for 24-7 to clinch the points.

Both sides did particularly well to produce an exciting game in appalling conditions with Barnsley deserved winners.

The Valkyries’ next scheduled home match against Bishop Auckland Ladies on December 13 will now be played on January 31 2016 due to a clash with the British and Irish Cup game between Yorkshire Carnegie and London Irish.

The Silver Royd ladies are next in action at Morpeth on January 17.

Their next home outing will be on Sunday January 24 when they take on Harrogate Ladies.

Players of the Match:

LEAH GILLON (forwards)

RACHEL THOMSON (backs)