Yorkshire West stun unbeaten Bulldogs in sensational contest

Batley's Millie Taylor attempts to wrestle free of a tackle from Yorkshire's Amelia Hudson.
Batley's Millie Taylor attempts to wrestle free of a tackle from Yorkshire's Amelia Hudson.

Yorkshire Girls West inflicted a first defeat on the all conquering Batley Bulldogs Girls at Dewsbury Rams last Saturday.

An origin style series has been designed to develop girls rugby league and give the Bulldogs Girls a challenge as they had been unbeaten in the UK for almost four years.

A large crowd watched a cracking game, which proved a great advert for girls rugby in the county as Yorkshire West ran out 26-12 victors.

The opening stages were played at a fast pace with tough and uncompromising defending by both teams.

A good passing move involving Lacie Bruines and Georgia Roche resulted in Emmi Manning scoring the opening try.

Yorkshire West produced tough tackling from Madison Laverick, Megan Griffiths, Charlotte Graham, Kacy Haley, Megan Price, CJ, Olivia Wood and Katy Tordoff.

This was backed up with a great kicking game from Roche as she forced the Bulldogs onto the back foot.

Batley incorporated rugby union players from Doncaster, Leeds, Morley and Wakefield but they began to feel the pace of the game.

Yorkshire’s forwards set up a good attack and neat work by Roach on the last tackle set up a second try for winger Manning.

Batley responded well and forced repeat sets and the pressure eventually told as Evie Kilburn nipped over for a converted try, reducing the half-time deficit to 8-6.

Yorkshire West scored a third try five minutes after the re-start when a good run and pass from Oliva Sharpe was rounded off by Savannah Andrade.

The Batley team showed spirit and rallied to hit back midway through the half with a converted try by Annie Croisdale seeing the Bulldogs draw level with 15 minutes remaining.

Prop Emma Hartley set up another Yorkshire attack with a strong run and good interplay by Ebony Haley, Laverick, Roche, CJ, Graham and Bruines led to Kira Hopkins scoring another unconverted try.

More good build up play from Bruines, Day, Watt, Andrade and Price set up another attack which ended with Roche producing a short pass to send Tordoff crashing over the line. Roche landed Yorkshire’s first conversion of the match to extend the lead to 22-12.

Batley attempted to hit back as the game entered the final five minutes but the Yorkshire defence remained solid and forced the Bulldogs to knock on.

Yorkshire acted swiftly and drove the ball upfield with each of their five tackles, using the whole team.

Most valuable player Roche produced another good move on the last tackle for the athletic Andrade to finish it off with the try to seal victory.

Yorkshire West are buoyed by the win going into this Saturday’s match against Yorkshire Central at Dewsbury Moor, ko 11.30am.

Organisers thanked Angela Burkinshaw at Dewsbury Rams for helping ensure the girls could play at a professional ground in front of a large crowd, while refreshments were provided by Paula, Brenda Graham, Bev Beevers and Cassi Bruines.

A Girls Under-12s match followed the main event as Dewsbury Moor beat Illingworth 56-32 with Gabrielle Akaidere scoring six tries.

Mia Diskin, Ruby Enright and Paige Lister scored two apiece, while Tiegain Ramsden, Mary Marsden and Nancy Hirst also crossed with good support from Danneka Massey, Brooke Taylor, Summer Rothery, Jess Harrop, Mya Enright, Lydia Day, Millie Lyons, Emma Crowe and Anya Sunderland.