Another great win for U18 girls
Darts entertained Medway for the second time this season
Darts entertained Medway for the second time this season following a tough match in the U18's league. This match was part of the National Cup competition and following a minutes silence for Remembrance Day the game started in perfect rugby conditions. Medway started really well and were quickly into their stride using their strong runners to push Darts on the back foot. The defence was very strong and the team put in tackle after tackle keeping their shape and forcing mistakes with great line speed. Medway have caused many teams problems in the set piece but our pack was really strong from the start with Jaz ,Megan and Tierney standing up really well in the tight and also making themselves available to take the ball on . At the first lineout we put good pressure on the throw and the ball went loose giving Darts the opportunity to counterattack and when the ball was given to Lizzie M she saw the gap and went over under the posts. Ewa converted. 7-0. Medway again put some really good phase play together but couldn't find the breakthrough and the close in defence was superb. Innes and skipper Lola were both putting great tackles not allowing the visitors any space. When Darts had the ball they made good ground with Elizabeth , Karis and Emily D all taking the ball into contact drawing in the defenders giving space out wide. Holly made a great break upfield and Darts looked like they would score again but great defence stopped any further score. Darts again managed to turn the ball over and it was Ewa who made a great break down the short side and was brilliantly taackled yards from the line but great support from Lilly gave her the opportunity to offload in the tackle and Lilly scored the team's second try. 12-0. Straight from the kick off Darts were on the attack again and this time it was Innes who made the initial break supported by Lola but another great defending tackle stopperd the score however the damage was done and the visitors couldn't recover and the ball was shipped out to Lizzie M who scored her second try. Ewa converted. 19-0. Medway were proving to be a tough nut to crack and again came strongly back at Darts but Isabelle made a couple of really important tackles to keep them at bay. Medway were keeping good control of the ball and working realy hard at the breakdown and every ruck was strongly contested by both teams. Following a sustained period of pressure the visitors finally scored a deserved try to close the gap to 19-7. Darts again came back at Medway and some good runs from Anna and Isabelle were stopped by determined defending. The score remained at this level until half time in what was a really enjoyable,hard fought and tight match.
The second half started as with the first with both sides going hammer and tong at each other and the next score was going to be crucial. Darts have been great with their exit strategy and it was a great clearing kick which put the ball behing the Medway defence. A great chase by Ramat and Lilly put Medway under extreme pressure and when they knocked on Darts won the scrum and when the ball was passed to the backs it was Faith ho dfrew in two defenders before passing to Lizzie M who battered her way through a number of defenders anf raced 40 metres to score her third try. Ewa converted. 26-7. Despite the score it was a close match and Darts had to be on top form in defence to keep the visitors from scoring and there were a number of crunching tackles from Ramat and a try saving one from Evie who tackled the biggest player on the field 10 metres from the try line. Emily D who had been influential with her runs and defensive play had to leave the field through injury and was replaced by Millie who imediately was in the game making some really strong runs but again it was great defence that stopped another score. Darts were making the changes now and Melissa came on at wing amd was quickly called into action having to make a crucial tackle. Robyn showed her versatility coming on at scrum half and this was a seamless change for the team as she kept the supply of good ball to the backs flowing. It must have been frustrating for the visitors as they saw all their hard work stopped in it's tracks the powerful Darts defending and when Darts went through a number of good phases they were clinical with their finishing and the next score came when Faith who had moved to centre wriggled her way through smallest of gaps and then used her pace to score under the posts. Ewa converted. Ewa was running the back line really well and Lola ws bossing the forwards and keeping them on top of the match and this allowed Darts to keep on the front foot stopping any chance of concerding a score. Rhea managed to get on for the final 10 minutes giving her some more game time and gaining some more experience.The whole team were performing really well and all were contributing to this performance and the icing was put on the cake as more good phase play allowed the backs to attack again and it Lizzie who again surged through to score to take the final score to 38-7.
This was an extrmely entertaining match with both sides showing great skill and determination. The result doesn't reflect the contribution and performance by Medway who were a strong team from start to finish.
All of the girls performed really well and deseve great praise for keeping their performance levels so high throughout the match and all could have been given the player of the match award but the coaches felt that with her all round game and leadership qualities Lola was the outstanding player of the match.