Sun 29
Women's XV
Aston Ladies vs Handsworth Ladies

Aston Ladies vs Handsworth Ladies

By James Clinch
Share via

Amazing performance and result in second ever game

Aston Ladies vs Handsworth Ladies
The opposition for the ladies in their second game as a fully-fledged side proved to be Handsworth. A great side to show the progress made by the Aston team that were all but founded at the Handsworth ground barely 7 months ago.

Aston started the game with a booming kick into the opposition 22 from scrum half Leah but Handsworth took the ball and hit back with some powerful running from the off. Their endeavour was met with big tackles from the Aston ladies including Rosie, Leoni, Niki, Sam and Leah – herself not much bigger than the ball!

The necessary progress was made by Handsworth and they found themselves in the Aston 22 and a try looked inevitable. Great counter rucking from Becki and Jess won a turnover and Aston were about to break out but a knock-on gave the impetus straight back to Handsworth in the first scrum.
Possession was maintained and after a serious of handy offloads in the tackle the Handsworth scrum half dotted over for the first try of the game.
The conversion was denied by the more than blustery weather so the score line was only 0-5.

This had all taken place in the first 7 minutes so the pace and work rate were already frenetic.

Another big kick from Leah restarted the game but this time some concerted Aston pressure in the shape of Sam, Jess, Niki, and Michelle’s tackles led to a Handsworth knock on and an Aston scrum.
A great scrum from Aston gave Leah a stable platform for quick ball to Jenny at 10 who in turn linked well with Noemie at inside centre. With some great running she was finally brought down by three Handsworth players. Michelle and Becki were straight into the fray and secured the ball well for Leah again to fire quick ball, this time to the loose forwards Rosie, Leoni, Sam and Kayleigh who took the hard ball into the Handsworth defence. Leah was ever present providing quick ball out to Jenny and it went through quick hands until it reached the debutant Kerrie who ran well and found good space beating the first tackler until she was bundled into touch 10 metres out.
First lineout for Aston to steal and Niki made a great take in the air and it was out through Leah and Jenny to Noemie who powered through the last gasp defence for the first Aston try.
The roar heard from the players and the supporters turned the fire that had already been lit into an inferno and with Leah adding the extra two points despite horrendous conditions, Aston were into a well deserved 7-5 lead.

Leoni took the restart and hit back well with a great 20 metre run before she was finally brought down. Becki was there again to secure Aston ball and Leah and Jenny fed the ball quickly out to let the rampaging centres Michelle and Noemie really express themselves and cause the Handsworth defence some real difficulty.
All the forwards were hitting hard lines around the base of the rucks and the constant pressure led to Handsworth giving away a penalty. Captain Sam took a quick tap and blasted through to score her first and her sides second try. Leah was just undone by the howling wind but Aston were now truly in the ascendant and 12-5 ahead.

There was no let up from the Aston attack and from the restart possession was won back and some great forward phases led by Niki, Rosie and Jess pushed Handsworth deeper and deeper into their own half. Confidence was up and the crowd could feel it too. Another try was certainly coming with this pressure and a scrum in the Handsworth 22 was the perfect outlet. A solid performance gave Sam good possession at the base and she picked up and smashed over for her second of the game.
17-5 and the Ladies were off to a flier.
From the restart Niki took the ball into contact and found a great Handsworth tackle and she took a bang to the head. Combined with a twinge in her knee which she dislocated only 4 weeks previous it was thought a rest would be the best bet and she came off.
Handsworth showed the truest rugby spirit and lent Aston a player, another Michelle, who slotted in to second row and restored the sides to 15 each.
The pace was starting to tell and Aston legs tired slightly allowing the Handsworth side to escape the pressure and attack down the right flank. Caellagh and Tooves were the defensive double act required and they stemmed the Handsworth tide with aplomb.
Both sides began to tire now but there was still enough for Jess to go on a lung bursting 40 metre run. Due to the great support from Noemie, Kerry and Michelle the ball was secured in time and with enough security for Jess to get back up and take the ball over for her first try.
Leah’s kick was only just short and Aston went into the break a well won 22-5 to the good.
As fast paced and high scoring a half (for the home side) had not been seen in many an age and that it was brought to bear by the newest section of the club made it all the sweeter.

Handsworth burst out of the traps in the second half feeling like they still had a big point to prove.
They went about proving it pretty well and attacked with phase after phase, testing the steady and well run Aston defence. The constant pressure did tell eventually and the Handsworth centre Anna, only just on the pitch, ran over for the try.

Niki was thrown back into the fray and got stuck in with another well supported run, Leoni and Rosie showing the excellent support this time.
The game had closed down on its openness and looked a much more gruelling affair for the players, every scrap of possession and territory being hard won.
Rosie threw herself into the game with a couple of 20 metre runs, getting more confidence from each yard gained. Becki kept up the hard work supporting the runner and cleared three Handsworth players out of one ruck.
The backs had started to sync their play wonderfully and the communication kept all the players keyed in to what was happening and the best way to keep going forward.

There was a great spell of Handsworth defence that kept the ever advancing Aston out of the danger areas, and off the score sheet.
The forwards and backs showed lots of character here and attacking with hard lines and supported each other well to push on and on and build the phases against a well matched Handsworth side.

Every player from 1 to 8 took the ball in and hit hard and Leah released Jenny for a great run where she almost scored but was held up at the 2m mark. Leah, again with quick ball, gave Michelle a shot but she too was held just before the line. Leoni had her turn but the stellar Handsworth defence kept her short of the try line. Noemie struck again but Handsworth tackled their way out of trouble and turned the ball over, a great bit of work, but then dashed it all by knocking on and giving Aston another scrum.
They must have cursed their luck as Sam, playing superbly at this point, picked up and punished them with a score straight off the back of the scrum.
Three tries and her side 27-10 up. Not bad at all but there was still more in the tank.
With just 9 minutes left Aston won another scrum 10 metres out and once more Sam picked up from the base and drove over for her fourth try. This can’t have been a surprise move at this point and so its great testament to her grit and skill that she got another score on the board for Aston.
32-10 to Aston and the game was still not over.
The Ladies on both sides were feeling the pain but would not give an inch on the field of battle.
To say that there was relief on their faces when the whistle blew for full time would be entirely understandable, and Sunnybank erupted with the sound of a glorious victory.

Combining with a Colts win over in Telford the clubhouse was a happy place to be and was buzzing with the spirit of the game. If you’ve not yet seen the Ladies play then get down to their game on April 12th and don’t miss out any more!
Well done to all the Ladies, the whole club are incredibly proud of your achievements so far.

Report by Dave Goring

(any inaccuracies or mistakes are mine not Dave's)

Share via
Recent news

Match details

Match date

Sun 29, Mar 2015