Having beaten Rosslyn Park to progress to the semi-final of the Intermediate National Plate, the SCRFC ladies were grateful not to have to make the 5 hour coach trip to face Crewe and Nantwich, but were able to instead welcome them to our South London home. However, the long journey seemed only to have given the opposition time to get fired up, and their drive and desire allowed them to overcome the Frant Road side.
The first twenty minutes saw something of a war of attrition between the two teams, with big hits coming in early from both sides. The slick conditions made the ball difficult to hold on to, and both teams were keeping it fairly tight. Streatham forwards managed to weather the onslaught of carries from the powerful Crewe forwards, and the backs held up well in defence.
A clever kicking game from the visitors saw Streatham winger Grace Moore being shown a yellow card for taking out a player off the ball, with a penalty try being ruled out due to the cover defence. However, against 14 players C&N were able to put the first points on the board, taking advantage of the overlap. Streatham’s try line defence was tested on more than one occasion, with skipper Millie Ross holding up the opposition outside centre and Mel Laidlaw-Anderson able to get her hands on the ball in the maul and into touch in the final play of the first half, the half-time score was kept to 5-0.
The match could certainly still have gone either way, but Crewe were able to continue putting pressure on the home side into the second half. Streatham were unable to take advantage of ill-discipline and a high penalty county by the northerners, as any territory gained was counteracted by the dominance of Crewe & Nantwich in the set piece.
Crewe & Nantwich were shown a yellow card for a similar offence to Moore’s, taking out winger Jenny (pictured) who had a stand out performance in her debut for the SCRFC 1st XV. A full replacement of the front row helped stabilise the scrum, and Streatham made a few valiant line breaks, with Helena Solomon and Dani Davies both threatening, but sterling defence enabled Crewe to keep a clean sheet.
The last twenty minutes saw reward for the continued pressure from the opposition, culminating in a polished team try with 3 minutes to go, sealing the win at 15-0. We wish Crewe & Nantwich every success in the final which will be held at Cheshunt RFC on 21st April.
Streatham-Croydon ladies will play their final game of the season next Sunday (15th April) against old foes St Francis, away. All support welcome as always!
Forward of the match: Sam Collins
Back of the match: Rachel Drapper
Player of the match, as selected by the opposition: Helena Solomon
- Photo credit: Mark Woodward Photography @woodyswebwatchphotography
Updated 12:26 - 9 Apr 2018 by Millie Ross