Hull FC’s Womens side claimed a hard-fought victory in their first outing of 2023, defeating Sheffield Eagles Women 26-24 at the Olympic Legacy Park.
In an entertaining end-to-end contest in South Yorkshire, the Black & Whites, who dominated for long periods of the match despite the Eagles opening try, survived a late comeback from the hosts.
First-half scores from Keziah Masike and Nat Romano had hull ahead 10-6 at the break, before four scores in a quarter of an hour from Abby Price, Abbi Turner, Charlie Lawson and Poppy Lyon had the visitors in control.
A late pair of tries from the Eagles wasn’t enough to mount a complete comeback.
The Airlie Birds fielded a relatively new-look side for their first outing of 2023, featuring several of the stars of last season’s U16s side that went on to win their division title undefeated, including Izzy Smith and Charlie Lawson.
Meanwhile, four of the club’s Centre of Excellence college programme were also named in the side; Poppy Lyson, Alisha Roper, Abbi Turner, and Lawson.
Elsewhere, Nat Romano and Lauren Sutton both made their first appearances on their return to the Hull FC Women’s setup.
The game started well for the Black & Whites as they began to build pressure in the opening minutes, but Sheffield’s defence held strong – neither side could break the deadlock as the twenty minute mark approach.
However, the home side finally managed to get over the line as Simone Saunders opened the scoring with a quarter of the match gone.
The visitors responded quickly as Keziah Masike crossed over after a strong restart from Abby Price saw her side reclaim the ball, with Hull showing some fine attacking flair to go over on the right edge.
FC claimed the third and final try of the first-half as Nat Romano gave her side the lead for the first time in the game, powering over from close range – Hull went in at the break 10-6 ahead.
Half-Time: Sheffield Eagles 6-10 Hull FC
Sheffield began the second-half strongly with Charlotte Johnstone crossing the try-line after just two minutes as the newly-promoted team continued showing promise.
Hull didn’t let the setback phase them though as Abby Price added a try to her impressive showing – the half-back dominated in both attack and defence throughout the contest.
The visitors began to pull away as tries from youngsters Charlie Lawson and Poppy Lyon looked to have claimed them the victory.
However, the home side weren’t finished as Agnes Wood touched with five to go, down before Simone Saunders added her second in the final moments of the match.
Despite the Eagles late comeback, Hull’s six tries were enough for victory.
Full-Time: Sheffield Eagles 24-26 Hull FC
Hull FC: Izzy Smith, Poppy Lyon, Lauren Sutton, Charlie Lawson, Joanna Lamb, Abbi Turner, Abby Price, Tia Hodgins, Jade Key, Dern Dyer, Chloe James, Nat Romano, Tilly Stuart.
Interchange: Alisha Roper, Alyx Worth, Keziah Masike, Romany Marrazza
Sheffield: Ellie Tiffin, Helen Teas, Claire Fisher, Phoebe Evans, Tori Thomas, Lisa Parker, Sarah Palmer, Capucine Auger, Agnes Wood, Jessica Sayles, Simone Saunders, Beth Arnold, Danie Green.
Interchange: Sophie Anderton, Jenny Crofts, Molly Haglington, Isobel Stevens, Tayler Coates, Sinead Fleming, Holly Evans, Nell Colclough, Hayley Martinus, Charlotte Johnstone, Hannah Whales
Hull FC Tries: Masike (26), Romano (28), Price (50), Turner (56), Lawson (60), Lyon (64)
Sheffield Tries: Saunders (22, 79), Johnson (43), Wood (75)