The Stoke womens’ team booked its place in the final with another superb team performance against Marist at Greenmeadows on Saturday.
Stoke had Marist on the ropes early with a penalty courtesy of first five-eighths Jenna Eathorne.
From the following restart, Fern Hoskin spied a gap after fielding the kick herself, pinned her ears back and sprinted clear to dot down under the posts. Eathorne duly converted to give her team a 10-0 lead only five minutes in. Marist appeared shocked and never seemed to recover, as Stoke looked to make the most of its early momentum. Tries to Alesha Borlase and Eathorne herself finished the half off strongly for Stoke after sustained periods inside Marist territory.
The theme continued in the second half, although Stoke’s defence was tested after the injection of two Japanese players for Marist.
Their jinking runs, great ball skills and elusive style were fantastic to watch. Stoke’s forwards worked hard to counter this, and forced turnovers allowing them to remain on the front foot.
Veteran campaigner Kirsty Johnsen played a sterling 80 minutes, getting around the paddock like some of her more youthful counterparts. Shev Collier and Lucy Higgins shared player of the match honours, both having outstanding games.
The final will be played this Saturday from 1.15pm at Jubilee Park.