Castleford Tigers Women have gone two points clear at the top of the Women’s Super League table following a 42-22 victory over an in-form Bradford Bulls side at Odsal.
The Tigresses were made to work hard for this victory and had to come from behind as Kirsty Moroney and Beth Sutcliffe’s Bradford side put on an impressive showing.
As the referee got the game underway, the heavens opened forcing most fans to take shelter high into the main stand.
The rain did no favours for the quality of the game, though, as the poor conditions forced many errors from both sides.
Nevertheless, it was Bradford who grabbed an early lead. The Bulls capitalised on a Castleford knock-on as Amy Hardcastle crossed the whitewash with 20 minutes on the clock.
The lead did not last long. Castleford captain Claire Garner intercepted a pass on half-way and powered towards the Bradford line. She was stopped 10 metres short but in-form Rhiannion Marshall was there to pick up the pieces and score for the Tigresses.
Moments later Katy Tordoff grabbed her first try of the season as her effort put the Tigresses ahead for the first time.
Castleford clearly had the momentum and there was hardly anything Bradford could do to stop their try-fest.
Georgia Roche was next to add her name to the scoresheet following a sublime individual effort. Then, just before the break, veteran forward Emma Slowe crossed to make it 20-6.
Castleford began the second half in the same fashion they finished the first. Tara Stanley crashed over in the right corner from dummy-half to extend the Tigresses’ lead.
However, just as play resumed, the visitors suffered a major blow. An off the ball incident between Marshall and Hardcastle saw the Castleford loose forward receive a red card with over half-an-hour still to play.
Despite being a player down, the Tigresses kept on scoring. Further efforts from Roche, Stanley and a second half brace from Maisie Lumb took the game out of reach for the Bulls.
Bradford did score three more times towards the end of the game.
Danielle Bose, Sarah Dunn and Ecem Acikgoz found the whitewash as Bradford became the first side to put more than 20 points past Castleford this season.
Player of the match was awarded to 17-year-old Maisie Lumb.
Both teams will go head to head once more on Sunday, June 23. This will be a Challenge Cup quarter-final clash and will take place at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.