Barrow Ladies missed out on a place in the final of the Women's Challenge Shield as they were defeated 24-6 by Super League side York City Knights at Rating Lane last Sunday.

Although their visitors eventually proved too strong, the result did show the progress Barrow have made in the past 12 months, as York had thrashed them 62-6 in the Challenge Cup last year.

As the game kicked off it was soon evident that Barrow would need to be on their game as York started well with some fast, slick rugby. Barrow dug deep and held firm for the first 15 minutes as Kelly Friend, Louise Clancy and Lucy Dickenson led by example with some strong defensive work.

Finding themselves on the ten-metre line, York made the pressure tell as they crashed over for the first score of the game, with the conversion missed.

The next 10 minutes were evenly matched as both teams were holding nothing back, but eventually York scored another converted try.

Barrow needed to find something in the last 10 minutes of the half and duly obliged as they began to take the game to York but with some strong defence and poor decision-making from the hosts a good chance on the visitors' line went begging.

As half-time approached, it was York again who made the telling break as they kept the ball alive to score a fine try, with the conversion making it 14-0.

Barrow never let their heads drop and with the last play of the half, Beth Lindsay kicked a penalty following a high tackle to put her team on the scoresheet.

The hosts applied pressure early in the second half and hit back, as Lindsay showed great awareness to crash over when everybody waited for the ball to fly out wide.

Despite a couple of clever plays by Barrow which saw Lindsay, Stirzaker and Norman combining well it was York again who were handling the conditions better.

The visitors' fitness started to tell in the heat as they scored two quick tries, with one conversion added, to make the result safe.