Sunday April 1st saw Brighouse Rangers Ladies hosted Guiseley in hot testing conditions. The opening exchanges were very tight, with both teams testing each other out and neither managing to take a hold of the game. Brighouse began to complete their sets and build pressure on the Guiseley line. Following a penalty for taking out the kicker, Yvette Kenyon was the first to cross the whitewash, finishing off a good set from the Brighouse side after Kelly Darragh was held up just short of the line. The resulting conversion was missed. Brighouse had been defending well, but ill discipline saw extended pressure from Guiseley in good field position, resulting in a try which was not converted. The half time whistle blew shortly afterwards, with the score at 4-4, a fair reflection of a very close and hard fought first half.
The second half began much as the first, with Brighouse tackling well but unable to break the Guiseley defence, failing to make the final pass count on a couple of occasions. However Brighouse managed to again enjoy a sustained period of pressure and after a high tackle from Guiseley, Larisa Deaves showed great strength and determination to crash over in the corner. Again the conversion was missed but Brighouse sensed they were beginning to get the better of their opponents.
The pressure from earlier in the match and all the resulting tackling the Guiseley side had to do began to take its tole in the hot conditions. After some great work by the Brighouse forwards, stand off Emma Hodgson exploited a gap in the defence to make a break deep into the opponents half. A quick play the ball saw Lauren Rouse, who proved a very strong runner out wide all game, tackled just short, allowing Kelly Darragh to get the ball down despite the attention of three defenders to continue her try scoring form. The conversion was this time successful from Hodgson, making the score 14-8.
The Brighouse forwards set platform for the next try. Following a great run by Sarah Kennedy from the kick off, backed up by drives from Michelle Anderson and Lucy Gill, Kelly Darragh produced a defence splitting pass to send Beth Greenwood away who showed great pace to score. The conversion was again successful from Hodgson and so with little time remaining, Brighouse led 20-8.
Ill discipline from Brighouse on their line resulted in a player in the sin bin. Despite fantastic goal line defence from the likes of Leisha Williams who again made some very important tackles, and Zoe Patchett who on a number of occasions dealt with testing kicks through by Guiseley, the away side found a way through with the last play of the game which was converted to end match 20-14.
It was a great team performance from the Brighouse Ladies who played for each other and ground out a tough win. Away coach’s Man of the Match went to Emma Hodgson with the referee awarding his Man of the Match to Lauren Rouse.