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Lancaster 22-0 York
After watching the second string from Lancaster University comfortably beat York’s second string, attention switched to the first-choice seven with Lancaster in a confident mood of earning more points. With a mere two minutes played, a fantastic break and superb off load from Ellie Sutherland enabled Lancaster to open the scoring; the conversion was missed though leaving the scoreline at 5-0. Strong defence on show from both outfits resulted in a scrappy period of play with both teams looking for that elusive break.
This break came for Lancaster after some robust tackling left the ball bouncing loosely before the impressive Alex Simpson took advantage of the broken field to score to the right of the posts; again, the conversion was missed. After some more powerful defence, the York girls began to throw some more high-risk passes that almost resulted in an interception for the ever-alert Simpson. However, the ball narrowly evaded her grasp which brought a close to the first half with the scoreline reading 10-0 to Lancaster.
A deep kick-off to resume play in the second half from Lancaster forced some risky yet spirited play from York. However, this did not pay off as they were forced to put the ball down behind their own try line resulting in a five meter scrum for Lancaster. However, on this occasion, the York defence remained resilient as they secured a turn over of possession. Regardless of an improved performance from the York setup, the Lancaster defence held firm and restricted York’s offensive play to their own half.
The concerted pressure from Lancaster was inevitably going to bring about more points for the home side despite the desperate defence being shown by York. The pressure finally told in the 12th minute when a succession of turnovers from York scrums gifted Simpson her second opportunistic try of the day; this time the conversion was successful meaning a 17 -0 scoreline.
Perhaps Simpson’s finest moment of the game occurred in the final act of play when she put in a shuddering challenge in the York 22; this dislodged the ball allowing her to retrieve possession and stroll under the posts unchallenged for her hat-trick. Despite the relative ease of the conversion, it was miskicked leaving the final score reading 22-0.
York captain Emma Nugent remained gracious in defeat proclaiming “It was a tough game today with both sides putting in strong performances. After some disrupted preparations for this format of the game, we look forward to tomorrow’s 15-a-side version where we hope to improve on today’s performance.”
Victorious captain Jessica Wild stated “It’s a brilliant start to Roses for us and Lancaster in general,” adding an ominous message to the York outfit: “we will continue!”
Hat-trick hero Alex Simpson also passed comment claiming to be “really proud of my hat-trick,” yet paying tribute to her teammates, saying “it was down to a great team effort with great passing and possession.”