South Leeds Spartans 10

Keighley Albion Ladies 52

KEIGHLEY Albion Ladies grabbed a comprehensive win against the odds after fielding a depleted side of just 10 players.

Spartans, showing no compassion, fielded a full side of 13 with a squad of 18.

Albion feared the worst as the whistle blew but how wrong could they have been. Ten minutes into the game Albion had already begun to dominate the Spartans.

New signing Jess Courtman, on permit for the winter season from Bradford Bulls, took Albion forward at pace. Sarah Shillito dived over the line under the sticks, with Laura Ackroyd adding the extras.

Emma Templeton took the ball at speed a few minutes later and dived over the line not converted.

Albion, on form, now began to believe in themselves and started to shift the game up a gear again with Shillito jinking over the try line for her second and Ackroyd converting.

Albion’s Saima Hussain showed great determination and ran through the line to score out wide and extras from Ackroyd.

Courtman showing great pace down the middle went on a stomping run to then offload to Shillito to send her over for her hat-trick, extras again from Ackroyd.

Templeton scored just before half-time with a near full length solo steamroller effort leaving the defence wondering what was going on to see Albion lead 32-0 at half-time.

The second-half saw Leeds interchanges coupled with the three-player overlap that meant Albion had to dig deep.

Some strong running coming from Poppy Rushton and Chelsey Holder in the middle of the park, while Hollie Haigh did some great tackles and runs and improving every match.

Courtman took control, again making some ground that saw Ackroyd on the end of a great timed pass and dive over under sticks and also added extras.

A few shaky moments under pressure saw a dropped ball near the Albion line and Leeds picked up and scored a try.

Some bone-crunching tackling coming from Templeton and Ackroyd and Cartwright put the Albion back on track. Ruta Muravjovo also making some great tackles.

Shillito, with half the Leeds defence attached to her, still managed to power over the try-line and converted by Ackroyd.

A dodgy head-high tackle decision saw Leeds monopolise and score a try.

Hussain, who looked like she was trying to dodge the defender, left Leeds standing with a fabulous solo effort try.

Templeton was denied a try by the referee but awarded a near duplicate try moments later, Converted by Holder.

A fantastic result by a fantastic 10 players who dug deep and showed a great team effort and believed in their abilities and came out with a deserved win.

Player of match point went to Jessica Courtman. Albion are at home to South Leeds Spartans on Sunday.