Cardiff Demons qualify for Super League 9s Finals

Words: Ian Golden, Picture by Olly Hassell/

Cardiff Demons won three out of three in Warrington in the third annual Super League Women’s 9s to qualify for finals day in July.

In their first match against Hull Kingston Rovers, the Demons won 33-6, opening the scoring after three minutes through a Sioned Young try. Rovers soon levelled through Sophie Banks with Madison Kendall converting to give them a 6-4 lead.

Cardiff soon regained the lead when Zoe Heeley outpaced everyone to score under the sticks for a bonus point try. Rhi Parker converted.

Leanne Burnell soon followed her in, strolling over the line with Parker converting for an 18-6 lead at the break.

Cardiff kept out some early attacking from Rovers in the second half, before increasing their lead with another bonus point try, this one by Kaitlin Hibbert which Parker improved.

A further try from Lucia Davies put the score onto 29-6 before the Demons had to defend again, and again denied Rovers, holding Carla Nolan up over the line.

And when Cardiff went back onto the attack again, they scored, Burnell grabbing her second as the final whistle went.

Next up for the Welsh were Barrow Raiders, who they had beaten in the Challenge Cup earlier this season. Barrow Raiders opened group C with a 14-11 win over Featherstone Rovers and had the luxury of a rest between games.

That showed straight away as Claire Hutchinson gave Barrow the lead from their first attack.

Barrow added to their lead after winning a goal-line drop-out. Demi Fisher found a gap score under the sticks. Cardiff did get a try back before the break through Zoe Heeley to put the score at 9-4.

Cardiff were over first in the second half. Ffion Jenkins made the metres and Leanne Burnell finished things off.

And after Burnell was close to a second, from Cardiff’s next attack, Heeley ran over 50 metres to complete her brace. Parker converted to complete a hard-fought 14-9 win.

In the final match, Cardiff just needed to avoid an eight-point defeat to go through and they soon put a stamp on the game through two early tries from Heeley and a Rhi Parker goal putting them 10-0 up at the break.

Rovers hit back with an Ellie Lamb try and nearly had a chance to level only for Katie Evans to drop the ball when attempting to ground.

But Featherstone had to score again. Evans was held up over the line but they scored from the next play, missing the kick and leaving the score on 10-8. Cardiff looked for a final try, but were kept out and held out for their third victory.