On Sunday, the Skipton Roses faced Lancaster Lionesses in Round Two of the RFU National Junior Cup at Lancaster University, making it through with a fine 32-10 away win.

After a long delay to the game getting underway, which disrupted the Roses’ normal warm up, they received the kick off and were into the Lionesses half.

But whether they were trying too hard or as a result of the delay, Skipton made simple errors or tried to force the offload, which resulted in several scrums which were evenly contested.

Play stayed in the Lionesses’ half and from a penalty award to the Roses five metres out, vice-captain Lottie Knowles took a quick tap and scored the first try, with Kerys Hey missing the conversion.

From the restart, the next 15 minutes was evenly matched, with both teams retaining possession well and always looking to put it through the hands out wide.

This ultimately led to a try for Lancaster to level the scores.

From the restart, the Roses regained possession and kept the ball in the forwards, with pick and goes.

After nine phases, prop Rachel Fort finally forced her way over, but the conversion was missed once again.

Good work from Skipton full-back Maddy Phillips stifled Lancaster’s kicking game late in the first half, meaning the visitors held a narrow 10-5 lead at the interval.  

Skipton got the second half under way and while the home forwards kept the ball well, the Roses defence stayed strong and forced errors.

The Roses’ scrums started to gel and this gave scrum-half Katie Hembrough clean ball to feed fly-half Jo Ward, who was able to get the backs going, through centres Freya Baggaley and Chloe McGrath.

The Lionesses defended well to stifle the Skipton attack, but with 20 minutes to go, the Roses really started to dominate the game.

Their forwards repeatedly made good yards and this resulted in Fort scoring her second try.

Heys added the conversion on this occasion to hand the Roses a 17-5 lead.

Skipton continued to put the pressure on and they were soon on the scoreboard again when the ball was shipped through the hands for winger Steph Roe to score out wide.

From the restart, Hembrough made a break into the Lancaster half, the Roses support retained possession and with quick ball, McGrath had a simple touchdown to increase the lead to 27-5.

The Lionesses never gave up and with from some strong running by their forwards and quick hands through the backs, they got within 10 metre of the Roses try line late on.

Their forwards worked hard, retained possession and used the pick and drive to score a well-earned try to reduce the deficit to 27-10.

But Skipton made sure they had the final say.

As the game entered the last five minutes, flanker Annabelle Aspin burst through to reach the halfway line, with that run quickly followed by another break from Hembrough into the Lionesses’ 22.

Another quick ruck saw Baggaley ship the ball to McGrath, who was able to force her way over from 10 metres out for her second try of the game.

That made the score 32-10 to Skipton, with the referee blowing for full-time soon after to confirm the away side’s victory

The next cup match for the Roses is a home tie on Sunday November 26 against Yarnbury Ladies.