Sandal Warriors exorcise Demons with impressive display
Sandal Warriors produced a strong performance to win 26-7 away to Doncaster Demons at Castle Park.
Playing into the wind in the first half, Sandal began well when the ball was moved out from the back of a scrum through the backs to end up in the hands of winger Ella Greensmith, who evaded the attempted tackle and scored under the posts. Maisie Palmer converted.
Doncaster replied as quick thinking from a penalty caught the Warriors napping and the home winger ran round the outside to score a converted try.
That was to prove Doncaster’s only score, however, as Sandal quickly re-established control. Maisie Palmer made good ground before offloading to the backline, with the ball once again ending up in the hands of Greensmith, who stepped a couple of home players to score just to the right of the uprights. Palmer converted the kick once again.
From the restart, the ball was picked up by the Sandal forwards, the combination of Emily Gallivan and Joanne Clark saw the Warriors made inroads into the Doncaster 22, but good jackling at the breakdown saw the hosts win the turnover and a scrum close to their line.
The Warriors managed to win the scrum against the head, however, and the ball was picked up by scrum-half Imy Coxon, who broke through some weak defensive tackling to dot down the ball to the left of the posts. Palmer stepped up and once again added the extra two points to make it 21-7.
Sandal’s Hannah Dickinson had her game ended early after a clash of heads and half-time came with no further scores.
In the second half both sides struggled to make significant gain-line progress at times with big defensive efforts, although Sandal were denied another try with a knock-on.
Warriors player Leigh Powell was yellow carded for an incorrect hand-off in the opinion of the referee, but Doncaster were unable to take advantage of their extra player.
Sandal scored the only try of the half when turnover possession at a ruck led to quick hands sending the ball out to the right wing, where Marna Van Der Merwe stormed though the defensive line to cross the line. Palmer ran out of time on the conversion due to the wind gusting and blowing the ball off the tee.
A scuffle at a breakdown led to Powell being shown her second yellow card, which automatically became a red. Sandal were now down to 14 players for the last 10 minutes and came under pressure, but held firm.
Maisie Palmer was named back of the match, Leigh Powell was named forward of the match despite her two cards and Courtney Evans was chosen as by the opposition as player of the match.