Jodie Ounsley stole the limelight for Sandal RUFC girls U15s with a sparkling hat-trick of tries in a comprehensive 45-19 victory at Malton.
Ounsley delivered an impressive player-of-the-match awarding-winning performance that also saw her set up another try and make a strong contribution in defence.
Her efforts earned her a deserved call up to the Yorkshire squad, with whom she will train next month (February) alongside Sandal team-mates Hannah Dickinson, Abi Ledger and Lorna Raycraft.
That Sandal won so convincingly despite rarely producing their best form was another indication of the potential within a team which always held the upper hand against quality opponents.
The visitors began brightly and raced into a 19-0 lead with three tries, the first two from outside centre Ounsley who raced on to a pass from Ledger to gallop away from 40 metres out to score her first, and then single-handedly smashed her way through the heart of the Malton defence to claim her second.
Raycraft added the conversion to the first try but her second attempt ricocheted back off the crossbar.
Ounsley looked to have claimed a quickfire hat-trick when she again opened up Malton with a thundering run only to be held short of the line but her efforts were not in vain as Sandal quickly worked the ball back infield for Ledger to go over by the posts.
Raycraft converted and though Malton responded with a try of their own, the 19-5 half-time scoreline was a fair reflection of Sandal’s efforts.
Sandal again struggled for fluency following the restart and were instead reliant on a few flashes of individual brilliance to maintain the upper hand. Raycraft set the wheels in motion with a terrific try down the left flank, her intelligent change of pace creating uncertainty in the mind of an advancing Malton defender and carving the gap that allowed her to touch down in the corner.
The try of the match – and quite possibly Sandal’s best try of the season so far - came shortly afterwards and was a try worthy of any hat-trick. Taking the ball on halfway, Ounsley left one defender trailing in her wake, stepped effortlessly off her right foot to swerve past another and then cut back inside off her left foot to leave the full-back floundering before scoring by the posts.
Raycraft’sconversion opened up a 31-5 lead but good recycling of the ball by Malton, who were superior all round on both the ruck and maul, saw the home side close the gap with two converted tries.
However Sandal would not be denied, and after the elusive Ellie Greenaway scooted through a gap for a try between the posts, Liz Morris and Ounsley combined to send Dickinson over for Sandal’s seventh and final try.
Brooke Firth’s tireless display in defence saw her named as top tackler and Olivia Hunter was named most improved player.
Sandal girls U 15s: Angel Gunn, Rebecca Rogers, Beth Treasure, Hannah Dickinson, Abi Ledger, Lorna Raycraft, Jodie Ounsley, Ellie Greenaway, Olivia Hunter, Liz Morris, Brooke Firth.
Sandal’s Hannah Dickinson has been invited to the North of England trials. Hannah, who has played twice for Yorkshire Under-15s in recent weeks, made a big impression on the North selectors.