Scarborough Valkyries’ unbeaten start to the season came to an end after a 12-0 home defeat to York RI.
On a cold and overcast afternoon at Silver Royd, the visitors ground out a win with two second-half tries, following a scoreless first half.
Playing with a brisk southerly wind behind them, Scarborough’s ladies took the game to the away side, looking to bypass a muscular midfield and back row by moving the ball wide as often as possible.
The Valkyries played some good, structured rugby but were up against a well-drilled, experienced side who defended well.
Physical up front and athletic in the backs, RI looked a useful outfit, although Scarborough did themselves few favours in the discipline stakes, giving away far too many needless penalties in good attacking positions.
With the wind in their favour, it was essential that the Seasiders got themselves on the scoreboard before the break, but the visitors held firm for a 0-0 half-time scoreline.
With the wind behind them after the interval, York took control and the Valkryies found it hard to break out of their own half and following sustained pressure, flanker Adebisi Adedeji powered over in the 51st minute to open the scoring.
Stand-off Freya Wilde added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
RI turned the screw through their big forwards, using the stocky Adedeji as a battering ram, but the home defence held firm.
The Scarborough side offered little in attack into the wind, but continued to defend well in depth before losing Hayley Evans with a nasty collarbone injury, she was later taken to hospital.
York got their clinching try with a touchdown by Wilde in the 70th minute, and although the conversion was missed, they went on to retain their unbeaten record with a well-deserved 12-0 success.
It was certainly not all doom and gloom for the Valkyries, who continue to improve their structure, control and skill sets.
They also defended well in this game against well-drilled, physical opposition.
Player of the match: Sam Knight. Playing at prop-forward, Knight was named player of the match for a superb performance in her first ever game of rugby.