Park Ladies First Ever League Game
BPFC Ladies (Unicorns) first ever league fixture after managing last year to successfully show the RFU we had the required numbers and support to enter the league structure.
First up we had Eccles 2’s, Eccles have been the leading force for Greater Manchester ladies rugby in the past 10 years or so this was really going to be a tough test for our first outing and so it was to prove,
With the unicorns giving first ever competitive rugby matches to Seranna, Layla, Nikki & Roisin along with Juliette returning from a long injury lay off. All of whom performed admirably.
The first half was very much backs to the walls stuff with Eccles being far more physical at the breakdown being able to put together multiphase play before releasing Dafne Schippers* at Full Back. The Park Defence held firm and the ladies really made Eccles work hard for their tries putting into practice the defencive patterns they had been working on throughout the preseason With Shak & G working hard to cover and turnover the ball where possible. The Unicorns attack was limited at times due to the pressure the Eccles defence was putting on the Unicorns often our attacked looked a little rushed. The Unicorns almost managed to break the deadlock when Emma made a fantastic break, unfortunately Schippers* managed to syth her down meteres from the line and the Eccles back row affected a turn over shortly after. On the stroke of halftime with G looking to break out after juggling the catch was taken quite high and was forced to leave the field. Unfortunately for G she had to sit near Matt Raybould and put up with his incredible chat for the remaining 40 while she nursed her shoulder back to health.
Going into the 2nd half we made a couple of changes bringing a 10 on for G, Roisin on for Alana and Lorne for Emma. Apart from the initial stages of the first half where Skippers managed to glide in from 30 out and a set phase play the Unicorns defence held firm and forced all of Eccles points to be scored out wide. The new 10 managed to make a 40m break by show and go,then driving through the covering defence before the forwards took the ball on for a couple of phases before the ball was recycled and with the Eccles defence struggling to reorganise the 10 managed to dot down.
Shortly after this the 10 had to go off, Emma came back into the fray at 10/12 to shore things up defensively. Shak was then unleashed and made 2 scintillating breaks all being covered by the Eccles back 3, until after a couple of penalties and Abi & Ash managing to generate quick ball to release Shak who scored out wide.
As the match wore on into the 2nd half the game was quite close at times, unfortunately for the Unicorns we didn’t always manage to convert our chances.
Final results 39-10. The ladies performed very well and all can be very proud of their performance, especially those playing their first ever games of rugby. The senior players lead from the front instructing any of our ladies who were unsure.
Onto the post match rituals of Forward and Back of the match, which for the Unicorns went to Layla & Juliette from the forwards & Charlene from the backs for Juliette and Layla for their outstanding work rate in defence and offering themselves to repeatedly carry the ball. Charlene for her defensive organisation making sure all players new who was tackling who. - The duo from Park managed to successfully win the boat race with the Eccles captain having to step in and finnish.
*Obviously Dafne Schippers was not playing however the Full Back was very very very fast!