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Women's Shield: Muddy field win on the road to Murrayfield

Women's Shield: Muddy field win on the road to Murrayfield

Mark Brown19 Feb - 09:28
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Broughton Women made it 2 out of 2 in their Shield group stage campaign with a 10-29 victory over Annan at a muddy Violetbank.

An early start from the Capital saw the team embark upon their 170 mile round trip, with maybe a wee top-up on the mileometer for the scenic detour past bemused looking sheep to reach the ground.

With the Annan main pitch deemed unplayable, a move to the adjoining paddock saw the game get underway on an equally unplayable quagmire however with the spacing between games and a four match unbeaten run to build on, Broughton would have likely played on the surface of the moon.

Such was the bed of treacle underfoot, it was perhaps fortunate that Lauren Park, the Queen of High Knees herself, collected the ball 20 metres out and raced in under the posts to get Broughton off to the perfect start after just three minutes on the clock. Vicki Anderson duly obliging with the added extras.

Annan Warriors, playing in their 100th appearance, gave their sizeable turnout on the touchline a quick response to cheer when they dotted over for a try just five minutes later.
Helen Lyon went on a dynamic run as the game flowed back and forth akin to a Basketball clash however play was to finally breakdown. The resultant scrum to the hosts was subsequently turned over, with the Broughton pack setting out their stall for what was to be a dominant day in the engine room.

Broughton were awarded a penalty following an Annan transgression only for Vicki Anderson to look on as the ball crashed off the uprights and back into play before the hosts managed to clear to safety.

It wasn’t long before the tourists extended their lead though and when hot heels Erika Gladwin received the ball around the 22, up it was tucked in the basket and the footrace won. The sliding touchdown earning the pacey winger a cake of mud for her troubles.

The Wardie side look to turn the screw and build on their early dominance. A couple of high tackles didn’t go unnoticed by the match official with both try scorers feeling the force some head shot shenanigans.

Then, with the interval in sight, further light was put between the sides courtesy of flying winger Erika Gladwin who broke free and ran in unopposed – well, perhaps hampered by the heavy deadball area which saw her boots sink like treading on quicksand. Anderson obliging by added the conversion to make it 5-19 at the break.

Changes at the break saw replacements stand out in their resplendently clean kit against the backdrop of their muddy counterparts however there was hope in the air as the threat of blue sky filled the touchline with enthusiasm for a brighter second half.

The Smashed ‘Em Bro award was sewn up ten minutes into the period when Ali Chorlton dropped the Annan back rower into the mud. It took a while for the player to sook in every ounce of spare air in the local atmosphere before returning to play such was the ferocity of the textbook tackle.

Cometh the hour and the treat of a comeback from the hosts as they splashed down in the top corner with their second try of the afternoon to make it 10-19.

Play ebbed and flowed as both teams look to get what was set to be a crucial next score – and it was the visitors who were to deliver the knockout blow. Ali Chorlton making good ground into the Annan 22 before setting up Kirsty Venter who metaphorically punched through the last line of defence – the perfect response to having been literally inflicted by one in an ugly off the ball incident minutes earlier.

With the game deep into added on time, Erika Gladwin bagged her second hat-trick of the season, running tight up the barely visible touchline to finally dive over to record Broughton’s first win at Annan at the fourth time of asking.

FT: Annan 10-29 Broughton

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