Beccs vs Aylesford
By Paul Harrington
A Game of 2 Halves.
Sunday saw the injury stricken U18 girls squad travel to Aylesford for their cup semi final. The winners would meet either Pulborough or Chobham/Cobham with a chance to go through to the "nationals"
Cerys won the toss and chose to face into the wind. The referee, an old friend, got the match under way. The girls stuck to their game plan, and were soon on the front foot with quick ball down the line to Catherine, saw her run and step her way over the line to score after just five minutes of play. Ellie lined up a difficult kick and slotted the extra two points.
From the restart the hosts were on the offensive using their forwards repeatedly to gain territory. Strong defense by the Beccs girls saw these attacks thwarted, however, there was a cost. The Beccs girls penalty count ticked over faster than a 20/20 scoreboard leading to untold pressure. A momentary lapse of concentration saw the Aylesford girls score in the far corner. Amazingly enough the referee still had enough puff to keep up with play.Despite the wind advantage the hosts were unable to draw level.
The intensity of the match increased and Georgina playing in only her second ever match got to show her pace and safe hands on the right wing.The tackles were made as wave after wave of Aylesford forwards attacked the Beccs girls line. Erin, Francesca and Freddie all picking on bigger opponents to bring down. Passage of play continued ending with the customary penalty, the Aylesford girls showed good game management and opted for the posts. 8-7 to the hosts.
Despite being smaller in size the Beccs scrum showing their experience and technical skills blitzed the set piece with Francesca winning a large percentage "against the head".
The battle continued with end to end ground being won and lost. The Aylesford girls exploited the numbers advantage following a "team yellow" and scored to extend their lead. The second half continued in the same vein of a fierce contest. The Beccs girls showed true determination and courage in the face of adversity to build phases to pressure the opponents. Quick ball from the half backs to the centres saw Bobbie with sublime footwork and a real turn of pace score. Once again Ellie stepped up and with her customary precision scored the conversion. 20-14 and all to play for.
Galvanised into action, the Beccs girls set about scoring that next try. Camped out in the host's 22, pressure began to build, when unfortunately an injury to one of the Aylesford's front row meant that scrums were now uncontested. The Beccs left nothing on the pitch in an effort to score, but time ran out quicker than anticipated.
Thank you to our hosts for the day, we wish those players injured a speedy recovery for the final.
Many thanks to Graham, Phil and Jess who coached on the day.
Congratulations to the girls on a spirited performance, you played some excellent rugby from the set pieces, to open running play from the backs to the clearouts and tackles from the forwards. A pleasure to watch. The team on the day were:
Cerys (Capt.) Megan, Catherine, Bobbie, Destiny, Georgina, Ellie, Erin, Ella, Olivia, Francesca, Poppy, Reana and Freddie.