Champion Dewsbury Moor Ladies are edged out in Challenge Cup final thriller

Caitlin Beevers dives over for Dewsbury Moor's first try in their Challenge Cup final against Wigan St Pats.
Caitlin Beevers dives over for Dewsbury Moor's first try in their Challenge Cup final against Wigan St Pats.

Dewsbury Moor Ladies produced a gallant display before being edged out 15-12 by Wigan St Patricks in the WRLA Cup Final at Featherstone’s LD Nutrition Stadium on Easter Sunday.

The Maroons have had an excellent season and were unbeaten on their way to winning the Division Two title.

They pushed the first division champions all the way in a classic encounter, played out in front of 500 spectators, as the lead changed hands five times during a pulsating final.

The heavy conditions suited the bigger Wigan side and St Patricks took an early lead when full-back Becky Greenfield went over but Charlotte Foley’s conversion hit a post.

The Maroons hit back soon after when good work by Lacie Bruines, Georgia Roche, Chloe Pearson and Mia Clarke gave them good field position.

Full-back Caitlin Beevers raced through to grab a fine individual try and Roche converted to give Moor a two point lead.

Amy Brinkley, Pip Lockhart, Bruines, Roche, Pearson, Clarke, Annabella Morley, Brogan Kennedy, Jess Day, Paige Webster, Amy Ratcliffe, Jess Keeligan, Ellie Frain, Katie Tordoff, Jess Crockford and Elyse Royal kept the Wigan side at bay for a time but the pressure eventually told.

St Pats regained the lead as Greenfield produced a great drive towards the posts only to be stopped in her tracks by an excellent Beevers tackle.

From the next play though stand off Charlotte Foley crossed for the try and Greenfield converted to edge Wigan 10-6 ahead and it was a lead they held until half-time.

Both sides continued to give their all after the break and on the hour mark the Maroons hit back when the influential player of the match Beevers made a 60 metre break before putting Roche over for Moor’s second try. Roche converted to edge them 12-10 ahead.

St Patricks almost hit back immediately as centre Laura Richards had a try chalked off for a forward pass.

Beevers received good support in defence from Bruines, Roche, Pearson Clarke, Morley, Kennedy, Day, Webster, Amy Ratcliffe and Amy Brinkley but the cup holders continued to press and regained the lead when second row Abby Latchford stormed over in the corner.

The Maroons continued to battle on to the end with Beevers, Roche, Bruines Webster, Clarke, Ratcliffe and Kennedy taking them close to the line but they were unable to find a final pass to unlock the Wigan defence.

Rachel Porter’s drop goal in the closing seconds sealed Wigan’s victory and ended the Maroons hopes, although the young Dewsbury Moor side can by extremely proud of their efforts and can look forward to making the step up next season.

Wigan St Pats: Becky Greenfield; Kerrie-Ann Smith, Michelle Woodcock, Laura Richards, Rachael Porter; Charlotte Foley, Chloe Hammond; Alex Simpson, Leah Smith, Armani Sharrock, Abbey Latchford, Jazz Ledger, Jenny Moss. Subs: Gillian Aspin, Jazz Mason, Rachel Jones.

Tries: Greenfield, Foley, Latchford.

Goals: Greenfield (1/3).

Drop Goal: Porter.

Dewsbury Moor Maroons: Caitlin Beevers; Amy Brinkley, Chloe Pearson, Brogan Kennedy, Pip Lockhart; Jess Keeligan, Georgia Roche; Amy Ratcliffe, Lacie Bruines, Mia Clarke, Jess Day, Annabella Morley, Paige Webster. Subs: Ellie Frain, Elyse Royal, Katie Tordoff, Jess Crockford.

Tries: Beevers, Roche.

Goals: Roche (2/2).

Player of the Match: Caitlin Beevers.

Referee: Andy Cuthbert.

Attendance: 500.