Warriors Women recorded a resounding 58-5 victory over DMP Durham Sharks at The Darlington Arena to get their Allianz Premier 15s campaign up and running.
Running in ten tries, Warriors were strong in every department with Taz Bricknell and Amelia Buckland-Hurry looking particularly impressive in the pack.
Bricknell opened the scoring on nine minutes, the back-row burrowing over from a driving lineout before lethal finisher Zoe Heeley bagged the first of her two scores with a sprint to the corner. Alex Matthews, who was in the thick of the action from start to finish, added Warriors’ third score as she supported Alex Callender’s neat break to go in under the posts.
Warriors secured the try bonus point just short of the half hour mark when Jade Shekells raced in for a fine solo effort, which began on half-way with a dummy and side-step. Sarah Nicholas’ conversion extended Warriors lead to 24-0.
On the stroke of half-time Abi Kershaw scored her first Warriors try, the talented full-back crossing in the far corner after the ball had gone loose.
DMP reduced the arrears just after the break, Fiona Dewar pouncing on the ball after Nicholas had tried to keep the ball in play from a penalty kick to touch. Not deterred by the early second half set-back, Warriors responded in emphatic with a dominant scrum yielding a penalty try to extend the visitors’ advantage to 36-5.
Wales international Robyn Wilkins notched up try number seven, Heather Fisher the architect with a shimmy and offload and moments later Heeley doubled her tally for the afternoon.
Warriors passed the 50-point mark 15 minutes from time when debutant Philippa Rawbone charged down a clearance kick, before Vicky Laflin raced in for arguably the best try of the afternoon. Laflin collected Wilkins’ cross-field kick on half-way and her electric pace did the business as DMP had no answer for Warriors’ attacking onslaught.
Warriors Women | 15 Abi Kershaw, 14 Zoe Heeley, 13 Jade Shekells, 12 Heather Fisher, 11 Vicky Laflin, 10 Sarah Nicholas, 9 Brooke Bradley, 1 Carmen Tremelling, 2 El Febrey, 3 Laura Keates (c), 4 Elizabeth Shermer, 5 Amelia Buckland-Hurry, 6 Taz Bricknell, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Alex Matthews
Replacements | 16 Carys Phillips, 17 Flo Long, 18 Philippa Rawbone, 19 Cara Brincat, 20 Jo Brown, 21 Caity Mattinson, 22 Vicky Foxwell, 23 Robyn Wilkins
9m | Bricknell try 0-5
13m | Heeley try 0-10
15m | Matthews try 0-15
15m | Nicholas con 0-17
26m | Shekells try 0-22
26m | Nicholas con 0-24
29m | Kershaw try 0-29
37m | Dewar try 5-29
42m | Penalty try 5-36
47m | Wilkins try 5-41
53m | Heeley try 5-46
58m | Shermer try 5-51
61m | Laflin try 5-56
61m | Wilkins con 5-58