By Jay Freeman
BBC Sport at University of Bolton Stadium
|Coral Women’s Challenge Cup final|
|Castleford Tigers (10) 10|
|Tries: Marshall, Renouf Goal: Stanley|
|Leeds Rhinos (10) 16|
|Tries: Goldthorp, Beevers, Hill Goals: Hill 2|
Leeds Rhinos won their second successive Women’s Challenge Cup as they defeated Castleford Tigers in a gripping final in Bolton.
Castleford led when Rhiannion Marshall ran in at the corner, but Fran Goldthorp and 17-year-old Caitlin Beevers replied for Leeds.
Tamzin Renouf touched down under the posts for Cas to level at 10-10.
Courtney Hill ran in from 60 metres to give Leeds victory in stunning fashion just before the hour.
Player of the match Hill, 32, played Big Bash cricket in her native Australia before switching sports to rugby league, and among her former team-mates at Brisbane Heat was tennis world number one Ash Barty.
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In a repeat of the 2018 final, which saw the Rhinos lift the trophy for the first time, they won the cup once more in the first of three games at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday, with the two men’s semi-finals following afterwards.
Leeds were without regular captain Lois Forsell, who had won the past two finals with Bradford and then the Rhinos, through injury.
And it was a tough task to beat the previously unbeaten Women’s Super League leaders Castleford in front of a vociferous Cas-backed crowd in Bolton, but a long-distance run-in by Hill edged it in Leeds’ favour.
Castleford: Stanley; Dodd, Owen, Grace, Gentles; Roche, Garner; Field, Peach, Lumley, Renouf, Hoyle, Marshall.
Interchanges: Watts, Higo, Reynolds, Cudjoe.
Leeds: Beevers; Nuttall, Robinson, Kerrigan, Goldthorp; Butcher, Hill; Anderson, Gaines, Johnson, Staveley, Booth, Lacey.
Interchanges: Priim, Bennett, Frain, Oldroyd.
Referee: Cameron Worsley
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