On a sunny Sunday 13th May at Lily Hill Park, the Bracknell Ladies were readying themselves for the long awaited final league match of the season against London Irish.
A good kick-off from Amber Ledger gave Bracknell a chance to press up quickly and push London Irish onto the back foot. Great tackles from Shiv Jamieson and Mealsy Whitbread soon led to a mistake from London Irish, and a scrum in Bracknell’s favour.
As the game continued, strong carries from Zoe Young and Tash King allowed yards to be made towards the try line. The backs were looking slick due to quick hands and strong leadership from Claire Gujer, getting the ball moving and out to Leah Watts who had the chance to pace along the wing. However a great covering tackle from Irish and a spilled Bracknell ball meant Irish once again had possession.
Irish were soon over the whitewash despite some strong Bracknell defence and after a successful conversion London Irish were 7-0 in the lead.
Bracknell were quick to come back and continued some great set plays with the forwards working in pods and the backs demonstrating their moves. A penalty against London Irish allowed Shiv Jamieson to kick the ball into touch for a lineout which Shona Webb successfully caught and created a maul. The ball made it’s way to the back of the maul where Zara King was waiting to spin away and cross for the try. The conversion was unsuccessful which meant Irish were taking a 2 point lead into half-time.
After the break Bracknell worked hard to hold wave after wave of London Irish attacking the try line. However a wayward kick from Bracknell landed in the hands of London Irish who again were able to jog over for the try and successfully convert.
Irish soon extended their lead to 19-5 after quick reactions and great set play allowed them to push Bracknell back and get a try. Bracknell weren’t going to give up quietly as smashing tackles from Esmee Sturges and Maisie Laslett stopped Irish from crossing once more.
After a period of even play the ball soon found its way back into London Irish hands as the Bracknell side started to tire and Irish managed to finally get the ball over the line despite huge efforts from Tash King, Lynette Di-Lorio and Zoe Young who held up the ball over the line multiple times. Conversion missed, score 24-5.
The second row partnership of Chloe Budd and Caz Kirk worked well as they carried the ball well through the defence with Shiv Jamieson on their shoulder. A Bracknell scrum enabled Zara King to pick the ball up from the back of the scrum and carry the ball strong into London Irish defenders. Amber Clark received the offload and sped up the field leaving London Irish tracking back to defend.
The ball was soon turned over and London Irish pounced on the opportunity to race away and put more points on the scoreboard. A successful conversion to finish the match and leave the final score at Bracknell Ladies 5 – 31 London Irish Ladies
Despite the score the girls were thrilled with their performance and Head Coach David Rosi took some time after the match to congratulate the team on great decision making, slick hands and big tackles throughout the match.
The girls have finished third in their league and are looking forward to the challenges that will come next season.
Final score: 31-5
Congratualtions Bracknell Ladies RFC