BY ZARA KING
As the whistle blew for the first league fixture of the season the ladies were full of nerves, excitement and determination. Moving up to a higher league this season they knew that this would be a hard game and Hampstead Ladies would put up a worthy fight.
Shiv Jamison started the game with a high drop kick into the hands of Hampstead, who came back at Bracknell Ladies with force. Great cover tackles by Joanna Croft and Leanne Smith pushed the Ladies into their own 22. An early injury from Leanne Smith meant Chloe Budd was ready to step out onto the pitch for the first time since the birth of her daughter, not that it was noticeable with her great runs and excellent support play.
Bracknell continued to fight in Hampsteads' 22 but mistakes from both sides lead to an advantage. A scrum to Bracknell meant the ladies were ready to come back at Hampstead and show them what they could do once they had possession of the ball. The ball fed through the hands of the Bracknell players before meeting Joy Westlake who sprinted down the line to get the first try of the game! The conversion missed left the score at 5-0 to Bracknell.
Bracknell win a scrum after the kick-off, another superb run from Joy evading tackles before she passed to Kirsty Robson who powered through defenders for another try in quick succession. Unsuccessful conversion 10-0 to Bracknell.
A penalty to Hampstead gave them the chance to enter the Bracknell 22 for the first time, great tackles by Esmee Sturges and Mealsy Whitbread stopped the ball from reaching the try line. Another scrum to Bracknell sees Joy run the entire length of the pitch for her second try of the game! Unsuccessful conversion 15-0 to Bracknell.
Bracknell knew that Hampstead were going to come back at them raring
to get their first points on the board and despite great defence from
Amanda Cooper and Rachel Rickett Hampstead got their first try of the
game, unsuccessful conversion 15-5 Bracknell.
A further 2 try’s from Hampstead left the score at a nail biting 17-15 to Hampstead at half time.
Half time score Bracknell 17-15 Hampstead II.
An exciting start to the second half from both sides with Hampstead moving steadily down the pitch before Joy steals at the ruck and Alice kicks out. Huge defence from Bracknell on their try line only delays the inevitable as Hampstead power over for their 4th of the match. Successful conversion puts the score at 24-15 to Hampstead.
A low kick from the half way by Zoe Young sends the ball rumbling into Hampsteads hands, another great tackle from Kirsty & Rachel leads to Joy successfully getting another try for Bracknell and her third try of the game! Bracknell 20-24 after Shiv’s monster conversion just hit the post.
Hampstead kick off to Bracknell and straightaway speedster Joy gets the ball and sprints 60m for her 4th try and Bracknell’s 5th. Another unlucky conversion leaves the score at 25-24 just in Bracknell’s favour.
A big response from Hampstead as they smash through tackles to get within metres of the try line but a dropped pass gets Bracknell the scrum advantage. Long injury stoppage gives the girls a breather in the heat and a long kick from Shiv just misses touch, Hampstead regain possession and leather it down into the Bracknell 22. Great cover tackles from the back line and Hannah Taylor stops them getting the ball over the try line. Shortly after a line out for Hampstead players allows them the opportunity to dot down for their 5th try. Unsuccessful conversion swings the score back to Hampstead 25-29.
Low kick-off to Hampstead enables them to kick high into the air which Joy receives and makes another speedy advance down the pitch before a neat offload to Kirsty, then a scrum in Bracknell’s favour Bracknell leads to a second opportunity for Kirsty to get over the whitewash for her 2nd try to give Bracknell the lead once again.
In the nail biting final 3 minutes of the game Bracknell take the ball after the kick off leading to a scrum and Joy smashes the ball into touch to signal the end of a superb match.
Final score Bracknell Ladies 30-29 Hampstead II
A few words from our captain, Hannah Taylor; “First game, first win, absolutely smashed it girls! It was hard work but every single one of you had pure determination and fight right until the end. That win was well deserved. Proud of you all!”
Forward of the Match - Shiv Jamison for her kicks and big tackles throughout the game.
Back of the Match - Joy Westlake for her great runs, strong carries and excellent cover tackles.
Proudly sponsored by David Cliff, Bracknell Personnel Services and THH Scaffolding Services.