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Eagles Women beaten at Dewsbury Moor


Sheffield Eagles Women team travelled to Dewsbury Moor for the return league fixture, expecting a tough encounter having lost the home meeting by only 2 points.

The early minutes of the first half began in robust fashion with the sides trading sets. However on handing over the ball on the sixth 5m from the Dewsbury try line, the Eagles conceded a late hit penalty which invited Dewsbury deep into Eagles territory. A grubber kick on the last by Dewsbury forced a mix up on the Eagles line resulting in a scrum to Dewsbury 10m out.

The Eagles then resisted a full set onslaught in their own 10m zone but another kick enabled Dewsbury to force a goal line drop out which proved crucial. On the fifth play a dummy tempted a misread, a hole opened up and in the 13th minute the Dewsbury no.7 swerved through to plant the ball down between the posts, converted for 6-0.

The next twenty minutes returned to the sides trading sets with both occasionally guilty of an error. Eventually a 60m break from the Eagles no.9 Wood down the right edge almost brought a try but a penalty for holding down resulted instead, only to be squandered with a play the ball error on the ensuing first tackle.

From the scrum the Eagles defence forced Dewsbury to lose possession on their first tackle 14m out. This time the Eagles did not waste the opportunity. Three plays from the scrum compressed the Dewsbury defence enough for a fourth play to find right centre Evans, who quickly cut a way through the edge defence in the 34th minute to dive over and score 10m in from the right corner flag. Conversion unsuccessful, score 6-4.

Unfortunately that good work was quickly undone at the fielding of the kick from the restart which the referee deemed a knock-on 23m out from the Eagles line. A scrum and three plays later the diminutive Dewsbury no.14 Thomas darted left towards the corner, twisted in the tackle and managed to reach back for a try 5m in from the left corner flag in the 38th minute, converted for a half time Dewsbury lead of 12-4.

Half-time: Dewsbury Moor Ladies 12 Sheffield Eagles Women 4

A close first half, maybe the Eagles could turn the tables in the second? Alas not.

The Eagles kicked off, made the first tackle 22m out from the Dewsbury try line, then a similar fault that led to Dewsbury’s first try in the first half happened again. The Dewsbury winger no.20 Barraclough, who troubled the Eagles all afternoon, picked up the ball and beat a path towards the Eagles middle. One player stepped forward from the line, Barraclough side stepped exploiting the hole behind and in an instant was gone with a swerving run that outpaced the Eagles full back who is no slouch, going on to plant the ball down in the 41st minute under the posts. Conversion successful for 18-4.

Six minutes later and the misery was compounded. A Dewsbury last tackle kick forced a knock-on 10m from the Eagles try line. Four plays later Dewsbury’s forward Dearne barged and twisted over at the right of the posts in the 47th minute, conversion successful for 24-4.

The Eagles continued to battle but the error rate was climbing which only served to hand the initiative to Dewsbury. Once more a Dewsbury last tackle kick was not dealt with, this time on the Eagles left edge 20m out, resulting in Dewsbury regaining possession still on the sixth play. An offload and a pass put the ball into the hands of Dewsbury’s Fawkes who raced a diagonal path from the right edge to crash over in the tackle under the posts for the final try of the game in the 58th minute, also converted, giving Dewsbury an unassailable lead of 30-4.

To their credit the Eagles did not give up and managed to shut Dewsbury out for the remainder of the match but they were unable to muster the guile, skill and error free consistency needed to overcome Dewsbury’s experienced defence.

Full-time: Dewsbury Moor Ladies 30 Sheffield Eagles Women 4

Eagles Tries:- Evans

Dewsbury Moor Tries: Hartley, Thomas, Barraclough, Dearne, Fawkes Goals: Marsh (5 convs)

The coaches’ player award went to Sinead Fleming, and the captain’s vote to Tori Thomas.