A FINE fightback was not enough for York RI Ladies as they narrowly lost 22-19 to national Plate holders Windsor Dame in the semi-finals of this year's Junior Plate.

RI have already topped Women’s National Championship North Two East ahead of the last match of the campaign against West Park II on Sunday.

But their hopes of national silverware were dashed by a side sitting third in a league above.

Windsor began strongly with breaks through the line only stopped by RI full-back Rachel Demoraes. Soon the pressure told with two tries and one conversion.

Not feeling deflated, RI picked up the pace and pressure.

They were camped in Windsor's 22 when flanker Charlie Freeman ran a great attacking line to baffle the defence and cross the whitewash, Kirsty Parr converting.

The momentum seemed to be with RI going into half-time but, on the resumption, Windsor quickly turned the ball over. They secured a lineout, stretched the ball out to the wing, scored and converted.

RI tight head prop Parr was also sin-binned for a late tackle on Windsor's scrum-half at the lineout.

RI's defence tried to hold strong while a player down but the pressure never let up and Windsor kicked a penalty for offside for a 22-7 lead.

RI fought back, though, good running from Demoraes pushing them up the pitch.

They remained camped in Windsor's 22 for 10 minutes and, while Parr was held up at the whitewash, she did soon score a try near the touchline.

With 10 minutes left, RI continued to press and they were rewarded when Lauren Van Buuren stretched over, Parr converting to cut the cap to three points.

They were unable to get another score, but their display in a fine match proved they are more than capable of playing in a higher league.