A MODEST Tara Stanley hailed York City Knights Ladies’ forwards after her match-winning performance sealed the inaugural Women’s Nines title.

Stanley scored the only points of the 7-0 final victory over Leeds Rhinos, making a trademark step through the defensive line before rounding the last defender to dive in for a five-point try, which she converted through a field-goal.

The England international’s effort was the difference between the two closely-contested sides, who occupy the Betfred Women’s Super League’s top two spots, and sealed York's first major piece of silverware.

Despite her match-winning heroics, Stanley was keen to pay tribute to her team-mates for their influence in the trophy capture.

“For me, it’s just about taking my opportunities when I get them as you would do when you’ve got 13 players on the pitch,” said the full-back.

“We knew that Leeds are a very down-the-middle team and that they can be expansive off the back of that. We knew we had to compete.

“Thankfully we’ve got some great forwards here at York and they beat down the middle for us and I was able to go forward off the back of that, which is fantastic.”

York started finals day with a surprisingly tight 16-8 victory over the relatively-unknown Catalans Dragons before thrashing Warrington Wolves and St Helens 37-0 and 26-0 respectively to reach the final.

“We didn’t have a shock as such, because we knew that Catalans were going to come out fighting and they scored first so in the initial match we had a bit of a shaky start," said Stanley.

“We came into it in the second game and in the final, we knew that it was going to be different from our last game against Leeds (a 24-10 win in June).

“They’re a fantastic side and they’ve got some players that the Nines game really suits.

“We had to keep everything really tight and our defence was really key. Then I was able to run off the back of it. It was a good final to play in.”