On the 3rd November the ladies travelled to Sutton and Epsom to face their IIs who they had played against in their very first league two years ago.
Captain Hannah Taylor had won the coin toss which meant Bracknell had the kick off. A high ball from Zara King allowed the ladies to push up and put their opposition under pressure from the get go. After battling the Bracknell defence a knock on led to the first scrum of the game for Bracknell. A quick pick and go off the back, from number 8 Amber Clark, gave the ladies the opportunity to gain ground and work their way further into S&Es 22. A quick penalty after a high tackle allowed Mealsy Whitbread to be the first to get points on the board, using her power to break through the defensive line to get her second try of the season, this was followed by a successful conversion for Joy Westlake.
The ladies set up to receive the restart after reciting their “nil-nil mental reset” mantra. Sutton & Epsom came back at Bracknell with a high kick bouncing into the arms of Amanda Cooper. The ball was lost in a ruck and the opposition took the opportunity to capitalise on this. Phase after phase the ladies produced some fantastic defensive work, however a quick ball to the wing got the better of them and they now only had a two point lead. After resilient play from both teams an unfortunate accident lead to Bracknell’s Amber Clark being taken off the pitch due to injury. Up to this point she had played fantastically with both her carries gaining ground and her support for her team mates. We wish you a speedy recovery. A penalty in Bracknell’s favour lead to a line out on the 5 meter line, being this close to the try line the forwards knew what they had to do. A driving maul allowed Shiv Jamieson to spot a gap in the defence to get Bracknell’s second try of the game.
The ladies were again put under pressure as Sutton & Epsom came charging back at them. After a scrum inside their 22 Bracknell knew their next play, a quick ball from the back of the scrum landed in the hands of newly appointed fly-half, Zara King, for a clearance. The ball landed in the hands of the full back, Joy, who ran the ball from inside the 22 over into the oppositions half. A fumbled ball then lead to another scrum, this time against Bracknell. Sutton & Epsom showed their pace as they weaved through the defence until they met Joy just outside the 22. Continuous spirited play from both team both defending and attacking eventually went in the oppositions favour as they pushed, and pushed against Bracknell to get the ball over the line for their second try of the game. Bracknell replied with a quick kick off leading to a line out against them. They set up to blitz the opposition, applying pressure as they pushed the opposition back. Bracknell won the ball back and soon had a penalty in their favour. A couple of crash balls from the forwards, Alice Whitbread then sent the ball to the backs after the ball spilled out the back of the ruck. Through the hands of Zara, into the trusty hands of Joy who dotted the ball down to add another 5 points to Bracknell’s lead.
After hard-wearing play from both teams, the ball in the hands of the visiting team allowed the backs to show their determination and grit as the ball went from Torii Collins to Rachel Rickett who showed her strength taking the ball into contact. After losing the ball due to a penalty given in the hosts favour, they returned into Bracknell’s 22 using the width of the pitch to their advantage to get the ball over the white wash for their third try of the game.
Half time score: 15-17
The second half was filled with great runs from both teams and outstanding defensive work. The teams were so evenly matched neither could get over the whitewash despite some opportunities.
Both teams played with the club emblem on their heart and worked hard throughout the second half. There were some great runs from Esmee Sturges, Zoe Young and Mealsy Whitbread along with excellent defensive play from Alice Whitbread & Cat Bell.
Overall it was a great game played by both teams.
Final Score: 15-17
The ladies now sit joint second in their league with 14 points under their belt. They look forward to hosting top of the table Haringey Ladies next weekend.
A few words from our Captain: “We knew today’s game wouldn’t be easy but we fought hard and got the result we deserved. We were so strong in defence, some of the tackles were superb and we held them off for the whole second half. Strong carries and some great lines got us into great attacking positions. Every player put in a shift and gave 100% until the end. So proud of you all”
Forward of the match: Shiv Jamieson for her strong carries, support play and great kicking.
Back of the match: Rachel Rickett for a great defensive game, putting in a countless amount of tackles.