SALE 1861 ladies progressed to round three of the Intermediate Ladies' Cup after an impressive 35-5 triumph against Sefton Ladies.

Sefton went into the game unbeaten this season and top the Women’s Championship North Two – one league above Sale 1861.

And they made a bright start, putting some sustained pressure on the Sale 1861 defence which creaked but did not crack – and some resilient defending kept out the visitors.

A thunderous hit from Hailey Coutts created a turnover in the opposition 22, which led to a penalty to Sale 1861, and a 3-0 lead courtesy of player-of-the-match Aimee Wallace.

After some sustained defensive pressure, Sale 1861 managed to work their way up the field and attack the opposition try line, with an effort from Jess Randall being held up, before a lovely offload from number eight, Hailey Coutts, in the following scrum enabled Caoimhe Morris to dive over and make the score 8-0.

Sale 1861 then started to find their rhythm and after some strong carries and quick ball, moved their way upfield where, after a penalty advantage, quick thinking by Morris with a quick tap allowed Sarah Baker to touch down near the posts.

Sefton’s defensive effort was strong and led to some forced errors from Sale 1861, but the pressure took its toll and a good tackle from Catherine Ansell allowed Coutts to lock onto the ball and win a penalty in front of the sticks, scored by Wallace.

Sefton managed to pin Sale 1861 into their own 22 but a huge exit kick from Wallace led to a line-out on Sefton’s 10-metre line.

A turnover allowed Sale 1861 to build through a few phases, but then a strong carry from Katherine Craine set Meg Buckley free who managed to skip past the final defender and score to give Sale 1861 a 23-point lead.

Just before the interval, Sefton managed to gain some momentum, but good pressure in defence lead to a turnover and a lovely pass from Hannah Birch saw Craine scorching down the touchline to dot down on the stroke of half time to make it 28-0.

The visitors made the brighter start to the second half with a flashback move from the scrum and a lovely offload allowing the winger to fly down the touchline and score a super try.

Sale then looked to immediately respond and a hardline run by Wallace took Sale over the advantage line, with a lovely out-the-back play to Katie Ashcroft leading to a strong carry close to Sefton’s line.

A show-and-go by Meg Willoughby put sale in a great attacking position, until the ball was spun wide and Craine touched down for her second of the day.

Sefton held onto the ball for the majority of the last 20 minutes and only down to some dogged and relentless defending were Sale able to keep them out, even with a total of four yellow cards diminishing their numbers.