Warriors Women snatch victory from Raiders

  • Match Report as Wigan Warriors Women fight back to win against Barrow Raiders Ladies.
  • The Warriors trailed 18-6 early in the second half before three unanswered tries saw them claim the victory.
  • FT | Barrow Raiders 18-20 Wigan Warriors.

Match Report as Wigan Warriors Women fight back to win against Barrow Raiders to remain top of their Challenge Cup group.

Emma Dwyer made her 50th appearance for Wigan as the Warriors had to weather a Barrow Raiders storm in a tricky second group game of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

Barrow built up an 18-6 scoreline after 50 minutes of play but Denis Betts’ Warriors fought back well to score three unanswered tries in the last half an hour of the game, paired with an excellent conversion by Isabel Rowe in the 76th minute to see Wigan to victory.


It was an even start to the contest at the Northern Competitions stadium as both sides went set-for-set in a vital second game tie in the Challenge Cup group stages.

The hosts were first to cross though as Michelle Larkin opened the scoring for the raiders, receiving a pass and adding the footwork to go over. The opening effort was converted by Jodie Litherland to see Barrow at 6-0.

Wigan responded in the 26th minutes as Ellise Derbyshire continued her try scoring form from her debut. Anna Davies went close before the second play found Derbyshire to go over, Emma Knowles added the two and it was all square at 6-6.

Barrow went close a few minutes later as Jodie Morley went close, but the Raiders were penalised for offside and Wigan survived.

The Raiders did extend their lead just after the half hour however, as former Warriors Vanessa Temple shrugged off the Wigan defence to crash over, Litherland couldn’t convert but it was 10-6.

Just before the break and Temple again proved to be a thorn in Wigan’s side as she punished an error from the Cherry & Whites to cross for her second of the game. Alice Rush took over the kicking duties but could not add the extras as Barrow took a 14-6 lead in at the half way point.

Keen to test Wigan, Barrow proved their persistence one more as Alice Rush crossed in the 46th minute. The Raiders shifted the play left to find Rush out wide, who crossed in the corner. The difficult conversion was off target from Litherland but Barrow held the 18-6 advantage with half an hour to play.

Wigan snatched one back just a few minutes later as a fantastic break of the defensive line from the Warriors allowed Ellise Derbyshire to finish off the move with her second score of the game and reduce the deficit. Emma Knowles couldn’t add the extras and it was 18-10.

Barrow were spirited in their defence but Wigan found another response just 10 minutes later. Back-to-back penalties allowed Wigan to get close to the Barrow line and they took the opportunity – a 3-on-1 on the right edge saw young full-back Isabel Rowe go over for Wigan’s third of the afternoon. The conversion was short as Wigan trailed by two-points going into the final 15 minutes.

Wigan got themselves in front for the first time in the 75th minute as a tiring Barrow side allowed Kaitlin Hilton to force her way over the goal line for Wigan’s fourth of the afternoon. A testing conversion from Isabel Rowe was fantastically taken to a huge roar as Wigan sat at 20-18 going into the dying minutes.

Barrow thought they had snatched it at the death, as Mia Dobson crossed on the hooter but the referee denied the score for a forward pass in the build-up as Wigan claimed the victory, seeing them remain top of the table after the second round of games.

Barrow Raiders: Sam Norman, Emma Hutchinson, Claire Hutchinson, Michelle Larkin, Alice Rush, Kerrie-Ann Smith, Jodie Litherland, Mia Dobson, Leah Cottier, Jodie Morley, Leah Clough, Vanessa Temple, Emily Stirzaker.

Interchange: Kelly Friend, Hannah Sherlock, Charlotte Todhunter, Shannon Parker.

18th Player: Fran Harley.

Tries: Larkin (10′), Temple (30′, 36′), Rush (46′)

Goals: Litherland 1/3, Rush 0/1

Wigan Warriors: Isabel Rowe, Cailey Miller, Kaitlin Hilton, Anna Davies, Ellise Derbyshire, Sinead Doria, Emma Knowles, Holly Speakman, Emma Dwyer, Lucy Johnson, Eva Hunter, Mary Coleman, Rachel Thompson.

Interchange: Cerys Jones, Brogan Evans, Jodie Morris, Bethany Hayes.

18th Player: Ellie Costello.

Tries: Derbyshire (23′, 52′), Rowe (64′), Hilton (75′)

Goals: Knowles 1/3, Rowe 1/1

Sunday 24 March 2024