It was a great way to start the season as the U18s played a development match at Darlington Mowden Park. It was a warm and sunny day and it was great for them to play on the lovely playing surface of the Northern Echo Stadium pitch.
The Cas squad includes many girls moving up the age grade from last season's U15s but they slipped into gear from the outset and it was great to see how they gelled together in their first outing.
To ensure that the maximum benefit was achieved for both teams DMP loaned 2 players for each of the 4 quarters so that we could play 14 a side for the whole match. This sportsmanship enabled the maximum number of girls available from both sides to have valuable game time. The DMP girls joining the Cas girls were great and it worked very well as one of the DMP players was able to finish off a lovely move down one wing to score for Cas.
The Cas pack worked well to ruck effectively. The backs worked very well as a unit and were a threat throughout as Cas put a stranglehold on the match against very game opponents who never gave up. DMP grew in confidence as the match progressed and full credit to them as they never gave up and deserved their try after a very good run by their 15 down the wing. Cas were able to ring the changes and try players in different positions during the game.
The highlight of the game was a fine team try which emphasised the teamwork of Castleford as they worked the ball from their own 22 by slick passing and direct running with keen offloads to supporting players throughout for this season's captain, Eve Clayton, to score under the sticks. Keara Bennett crowned a very satisfactory display by dummying advancing defenders to allow her the space to score a very rewarding try and Hollie Dodd's hat trick was a deserved return for her play throughout.
It was encouraging to see how all the Cas players looked comfortable on the ball and it was great that the scoring was distributed through backs and forwards.
Try scorers for Castleford were Hollie Dodd 3, Esme Reynolds 2, Abbie Lindley 2 and Keara Bennett, Millie Walsh, Olivia Addis, Eve Clayton and a guest player with one each and finally 4 conversions by Keara Bennett and 2 from Sophie Fairhurst.
Next Sunday (16th Sept) all 3 age group teams are away at Old Brodleians.
The club are still looking for new players to join them and prospective players should contact Steve Ball on 07707927090 or by email or just come to the club on Willowbridge Lane, Whitwood, Castleford WF10 5PD on a training evening: U18s train on Wednesdays and both U13s and U15s train on Thursdays, all from 6:00 to 7:30.
Updated 17:16 - 11 Sep 2018 by Stephen Ball