St Helens (20) 34
Tries: Woosey 2, Bush, Rudge, Hardcastle, Roberts, Travis Goals: Stott 3
York City Knights (0) 6
Try: Peach Goal: Marshall

St Helens won the Women’s Challenge Cup for the first time as they crushed York City Knights at Leigh Sports Village.

Saints’ four first-half tries came from wingers Danielle Bush and Rachael Woosey, and England pair Emily Rudge and Amy Hardcastle, with the latter two converted by Beth Stott.

York crossed through Sinead Peach on 49 minutes – Rhiannon Marshall converted.

But Saints stretched clear with tries from Woosey, Carrie Roberts and Paige Travis – and another Stott conversion.

In this ninth staging of the Women’s Challenge Cup, there had to be new winners as neither St Helens nor York had made the final before.

Saints were the hot favourites – but only briefly was there any hope of a shock when York crossed for an early try, only for it to be ruled that Kelsey Gentles had knocked on.

But Saints broke the deadlock on 15 minutes when winger Bush went in on the left for the opening try – and three more followed in the space of 17 minutes.

From 20-0 down at half-time, York got on the scoresheet when Saints full-back Rebecca Rotherham touched down behind the line, the referee ruled that it had slipped out of her grasp and Peach cashed in on her blunder.

But two tries in four minutes from right winger Woosey, her second, and centre Roberts crushed any lingering York hopes – and a late Travis try put the gloss on their trophy triumph.

St Helens: Rotherham; Bush, Roberts, Hardcastle, Woosey; Stott, Gaskin; Crowl, Jones, Akrigg, Travis, E Rudge, Cunningham.

Interchanges: Williams, Burke, Birchall, I Rudge.

York: Hardy; Gentles, Renouf, Andrade Lambert; Marshall, Langan; Field, Peach, Clayton, Wood, Sanderson, Hendry.

Interchanges: Innes, Farrow, Hyde, Stimpson.


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