Buckingham Swans 24 Moseley Ladies 15
19 October 2014
After losing three games on the bounce Buckingham were keen to avenge recent results but knew this was likely to be a tough encounter having failed on both occasions against the Birmingham outfit last season.
On a bright but blustery day the Swans played with the wind at their backs in the first half, however this didn’t prevent them from conceding the first points. After what had been a very even opening 15 minutes, Moseley took advantage of some lapses in the home side’s discipline as a succession of penalties put the Swans on the back foot, and led to the away side going over to take a 5 point lead.
The Swans reaction to this set-back was a very positive one, immediately putting the Moseley defence under pressure. Several scrums on the visitors 5 metre line may have been converted into points had a little more patience with the set piece been administered. However after about the fourth such scrum, fly-half Katie Clark received the ball from the back of the scrum at pace and was given enough space by the opposition to run in the first Buckingham try. Clark also converted the extras to edge the Green and Whites into the lead.
The Swans built on this and continued to work hard winning most of the set plays, providing the platform to afford the backs more ball than they’d enjoyed in recent weeks, and having worked the ball through the hands out to winger Charlotte Dennis, the hosts believed they had increased on their lead when Dennis appeared to touch down in the right hand corner only to be adjudged by the referee to have knocked on as she attempted to ground the ball.
It was only moments later though when a defensive kick by the Moseley fly-half was collected on the full by full back Holly Malins who arced her run around the visitors approaching defence to run around the outside of them and give the home side a 12 – 5 lead going into half time.
With the advantage of the wind and the slight slope Moseley started the second half the stronger of the teams and reduced the arrears to 2 as they scored their second try of the game. However as in the first half the Swans response to conceding was to regain possession and put some concerted pressure on the visitors. An infringement by the back peddling defence saw Buckingham awarded a penalty on the 5 metre line and the ever alert Malins took a quick tap and burrowed over the line for her second score.
With about 15 minutes remaining and the scoreboard set at 17-10 the Swans looked confident to hold on to this lead until an attempt by both Malins and Clark to tackle the Moseley left winger resulted in a nasty clash of heads between the two Swans and whilst they lay prone the winger touched down in the corner. The Swans still held the lead though as the try went unconverted to set up an extremely tense finish to the game.
Unfortunately with blood pouring from her head captain Clark was forced to leave the field meaning the home side were down to 14 for the remainder of the match.
After soaking up more pressure in their own 22 a relieving penalty by Malins gained the Swans 50 metres. Maintaining possession from the line-out the hosts continued through the phases and spent the last 5 minutes camped inside the Moseley 22. Twice Buckingham came close to putting the result beyond doubt but were denied until eventually the referee lost patience with the opposition’s repeated offences on their try-line and awarded the Swans a penalty try, which was converted by Sam Cleaver.
Whilst the Swans were fully deserving of the win, the final score of 24-15 doesn’t truly reflect what a tight match this was.
Players of the match were blindside flanker Kat Cook in the forwards and full-back Holly Malins in the backs.