YORK City Knights Ladies booked their place in the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final for the first time after beating Wigan Warriors 12-4.

Having beaten Wigan thrice earlier this season, by 33-10 and 46-0 (twice) margins, a one-sided affair was expected at Headingley Stadium.

The Warriors had other ideas though, battling boldly from start to finish, with their defence in particular impressive in holding York out for sustained periods, including the entire first half.

In the end, the Knights had enough quality to edge past Wigan and book their place in September 18’s final at the Totally Wicked Stadium (3.30pm), although their status as favourites, following on from lifting the BWSL League Leaders’ Shield, may now be in some doubt after this performance.

York needed just five minutes to open the scoring against Wigan in the last meeting of the two sides. They found crossing the whitewash far more difficult at Headingley though, with the first 40 minutes finishing scoreless.

Lindsay Anfield’s side did look like the side more likely to break the first-half deadlock though, coming close to doing so on a handful of occasions.

Less than 10 minutes in, half-back Georgie Hetherington, who returned to the starting 13, knocked-on trying to scurry over from dummy-half.

The travelling York fans were celebrating when fellow half Olivia Gale crossed down the left side from Tara Stanley’s cross-field kick, but the Knights were penalised for an earlier tackle in the air,.

York’s efforts were being hampered by neither the penalty/six-again and error count being in their favour at the interval, trailing 5-3 in the former and 5-4 in the latter.

They did however manage to at least finish the first period strongly. The fit-again Kelsey Gentles almost marked her comeback with a try, although it was rightly ruled out by the video referee on the grounding.

Having failed to score through the first 40 minutes, York needed just 50 seconds of the second half to finally find the game’s first try.

A short ball by Stanley put Savannah Andrade into a gap and the second-rower reached out to score over a Wigan goal-line defender.

Stanley tagged on the conversion and added more points to her personal tally through a penalty goal 10 minutes later.

Having missed out in the first half, Gentles would not be denied again, the winger finishing an overlap down the left flank. This time Stanley’s conversion faded across the sticks.

Two tries in 10 minutes did not commence the floodgates opening though, with Wigan next to score on the hour.

A casual Stanley attempted to watch a kick over the sideline, with Laureane Biville taking full advantage and strolling in. The Georgia Wilson conversion fell short of the sticks.

The final quarter of an hour was scoreless, with York, whose error count finished at 11, to Wigan’s eight, able to breathe a sigh of relief at the sound of the final hooter.