FEATHERSTONE Rovers Ladies competed excellently before they were overpowered by Bradford Bulls in the inaugural Women’s Super League Grand Final at Manchester Regional Arena on Saturday.
Injury-hit Featherstone were only 16-6 behind at half-time but Bulls proved too strong in the second-half as they ran out 36-6 winners.
Bradford’s victory maintained their 100 per cent record in all competitions this season.
They beat Rovers 50-16 in the Women’s Challenge Cup final at Heworth in July.
Featherstone’s hopes of avenging that defeat looked bleak when they quickly fell behind 12-0 last weekend.
Bradford captain Kirsty Moroney and hooker Lois Forsell scored tries that Claire Garner converted to put the Bulls in the driving seat.
However, badly-depleted Rovers battled back superbly with teenage half-back Georgia Roche scoring a magnificent solo try.
Roche weaved her way past a handful of defenders from 20 yards out and added the conversion to cut the gap to six points.
Charlotte Booth scored shortly before half-time to increase Bradford’s lead but the young Rovers side were still firmly in contention at the break.
Bradford, led by player of the match Forsell, pulled clear in the second period, scoring 20 unanswered points.
Garner’s try sparked Bradford’s scoring burst. She then converted Amy Hardcastle’s barnstoming effort to make it 26-6 with 25 minutes remaining. Despite a period of steely resistance, battling Featherstone couldn’t convert their efforts into points.
Their fate was sealed when Bradford’s Charlene Henegan strolled over late on. Garner goaled from out wide before Haylie Hields rounded off the scoring in the dying seconds.