For the first time this season the Swans were able to bring a squad to the game. Much needed! With both sides unbeaten in the league so far it was meant to be a great game.
Shelford started the stronger breaking through tackles and identifying a slow start from the home team. Shelford took the lead early doors attacking the open field and leaving Sam Cleaver helpless at full back.
The Swans new they were in for a tight game and needed to get their defensive patterns back into place. With the Swans acting like bees to honey the breakdown and fringes were overcrowded and left plenty of space out wide which Shelford Ladies picked up on quickly.
The Swans then had to show some true character to get back into the game and that they did. With objectives to settle down and look after the ball the home side started to play the phases and gain some possession in the right area of the pitch. The first visit to the away team 22 was capped of with a try. The Swans being very clinical up front and Sophia Maynell lead the Swans to their first try of the afternoon.
Shelford didn't take long to regroup and almost immediately went down to the Swans half and cancelled out the score, again poor tackling and a lack of discipline being the downfall to the Swans defence. 5-19
The remaining 10 minutes of the half belonged to the home side. An injury to the Shelford prop encouraged the Swans to play hard upfront. When the Shelford Fly-half found herself propping against Katie Lepper, the battle was only going to go one way. Props were soon rearranged again.
The power display upfront was sensational. The Swans got their tails up and through another very effective mauling game the home side narrowed the score the 12-19.
Captain Katie Clark then lead by example punching a whole through the middle linking up with Em Bown well the cross the whitewash. Katie Clark added the extra's and it was 19-19 at Half Time. A short welcome back to Em Bown who limped off at half time and was replaced by the Swans joint top try scorer Julie Nichols
Shelford to their credit started the second half very strong and with the Swans defence much improved they struggled to progress any further. The next half an hour belong solely the Swans.
Swans continued to play the power game, tiring the Shelford defence. The home side love to scrum and the mauls were also well executed today sucking in defenders all over the park. This then left space for Katie Clark to go and score her second try of the afternoon.
With so much dominance in the second half and most of the game being played in the Shelford half the swans kept turning the screw. Even when Shelford regained the ball, they were unable to clear their lines.
Chantal Trigg was next to score and secure the Swans first bonus point of the season. A fantastic charge down and the score shortly followed. A much deserved try for Chantal who had a great game.
Shelford never gave up though, got themselves into the game towards the end but the Swans defence held firm.
Forward of the Match this week went to Jayne Webster. She covered the park well, several turnovers and definitely her best game of the season so far.
Back of the Match went to April Hambridge who played her first game for some time. Kept the Swans in the game with some excellent try saving tackles and linked up well with Julie Nichols and Sam Cleaver in the second half.
Another great game for all of the forwards especially
Sam Cleaver played the best part of 75 minutes with a broken ankle. I still think she broke it falling down the stairs when she got home!
Julie Nichols dislocated her finger and showed little pain when putting back into place.
Jayne Webster played most of the second half only able to see from one eye.
Thank you for your support this weekend
The Swans are away at Olney in the league next weekend.