Halifax Panthers Women see off Wigan St Patrick's in winning start to season

Halifax Panthers Women kick-started their 2022 campaign with an impressive 36-16 victory over Wigan St Patrick’s, writes Stacy Mowforth.

By Mark Berry
Monday, 11th April 2022, 11:15 am
Updated Monday, 11th April 2022, 11:16 am
Action from Halifax Panthers Women's win over Wigan St Patrick's.
Action from Halifax Panthers Women's win over Wigan St Patrick's.

The hard fought victory was cemented by a hat-trick of tries from coaches' player of the match, prop Chloe Sykes, with other tries coming from opposition player of the match Rochelle Strantham-Drake, Kirsty Hogdson, Lucy Wood and Beth Greenwood.

It was Halifax that drew first blood with a score from hooker Strantham-Drake but Wigan hit back with three tries in quick succession.

Following a quick reshuffle from coach Ant McCarthy, Halifax responded with an impressive try from Lucy Wood, making her return to the squad from injury.

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And they finished the first half on a high with prop Sykes going over to put her team 14-12 up at half time.

Following some strong words from captain Carly Yeaman at the break, Panthers were improved on the resumption and a strong performance from Kirsty Hodgson saw her efforts rewarded with a try.

The Panthers stepped-up a gear with some impressive plays and set pieces that pleased coaches McCarthy and Connor Matheson.

Sykes was next on the scoresheet for her second with another another barnstorming run to crash over the line and Beth Greenwood added to the tally with a quick thinking show and go to race 25 metres to go under the sticks.

Wigan hit back with an impressive shift play to put their winger in at the corner but Halifax responded with Sykes' third try of the game, a carbon copy of her first two, showing her strength to power over the line to cap a well rounded performance from the prop.

Sadly with 14 minutes to go, the under-strength Wigan side conceded the match due to an injury to their playmaker.

It was a solid performance from the Panthers to claim their first victory of the season on home soil. In his post match interview, coach McCarthy hailed a good captain's performance from Yeaman both on and off the field.

He also praised his young players Erin Benson and Aaliyah Tooth for their strong performances against much bigger opposition, playing not only above their size but above their age.

The women now have a couple of weeks' break before their next game against local opposition Illingworth women.