Saints women defeat Leeds to reach Challenge Cup final

Saints are just 80 minutes away from lifting the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup for the first time but will not be counting their chickens before they hatch.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 8:43 am
Carrie Roberts runs in for a try for Saints against Leeds. Picture: SWPix

Jodie Cunningham's unbeaten outfit defeated deadly rivals Leeds Rhinos 20-12 at York on Saturday to set up a showdown against York City Knights at Leigh on June 5, which will also include the men's semi-finals between St Helens and Hull FC and Warrington and Castleford Tigers.

No-one can dispute Saints' right to contest the final as they proved too strong for last year's winners. It was a great all-round team performance and nobody was more delighted than player of the match Cunningham.

The skipper said: ''We are all buzzing after that result and I'm proud of all the girls. We've not completed the job yet and won't be treating York lightly.''

St Helens were the dominant force in the first half and worthy of a bigger advantage than 8-2, courtesy of tries from centres Carrie Roberts and Amy Hardcastle.

Hardcastle added a second shortly after the resumption but then Leeds came back with a superb individual score from Fran Goldthorp to reduce the arrears to 14-8.

Then Roberts supported a half-break from Tara Jones to claim her second try, converted by Faye Gaskin, and although Leeds responded again when Orla McCallion struggled over, Saints retained an eight-point cushion.

The final will be screened live on BBC2 for the first time.

Amy Hardcastle celebrates her try with team-mates. Picture: SWPix