YORK City Knights Ladies are just one win from securing a first League Leaders’ Shield in the Betfred Women’s Super League after beating Wigan Warriors 33-10.
York head to Headingley next Sunday (August 28, 1pm) for a trophy-deciding clash against second-placed Leeds Rhinos, with the winners taking the Shield ahead of next month’s play-offs.
The Knights are currently two points clear of the Rhinos, although the West Yorkshire club have the advantage of a better points difference, by a 36 margin.
Lindsay Anfield’s side will be hopeful of heading to Leeds with more fit players, having been without nine squad members against Wigan and meaning debuts were handed to newly-signed French quartet Elisa Akpa, Anais Fourcroy, Margot Canal and Leila Bessahli.
Despite that, the injury-hit hosts made a bright start at the LNER Community Stadium with player-of-the-match Savannah Andrade showing good footwork to step over the line on six minutes. Tara Stanley added her first of four conversions from six attempts.
York scored twice more before the first of two water breaks amid the sweltering heat, both stemming from Sinead Peach grubbers, the first grounded by Hollie Dodd and the second dotted down by Stanley.
Despite having lost the last two meetings between the sides 46-0 earlier this season, Wigan showed fight and hit back with Laureane Biville and Georgia Wilson tries down York’s left edge.
Wilson converted her own try for a 16-10 deficit by half time.
The Knights began to better utilise their left flank after the break, with Emma Kershaw’s great fend off extending the home side’s lead eight minutes inside the second half. Kershaw should have a brace but was unable to finish off Peach’s smart pinpoint drilled kick wide.
On the hour, Katie Langan dummied her way through before Daisy Sanderson proved too strong at the line a couple of minutes later, charging under the posts.
Wilson almost bagged a late consolation for the Warriors but dropped the ball over the line, allowing Stanley to have the final word on the contest, knocking over a last-minute field goal.