Boro ladies battled through the A1/A14 roadworks to the infamous Shelford artificial pitch, full body suits at the ready.
The Shelford side ran out looking tall and fit, and with a big squad.
The match started with Vickster catching the ball from the kick off. She ploughed forward, but was injured in the tackle and had to be helped off, replaced by Canoe. The sign of things to come.
Shelford maintained possession for the next passage of play, working their way up into the 22 and then wide to score.
A Shelford knock on from the restart got Boro into the game. From a well won scrum Nat, Mel, and George hit up into Shelford’s 22. Another scrum won by Boro and we pushed on again through Jess, Joss and Michelle. A further scrum ended in a lineout and possession was lost, but strong tackling from Eve and quick reactions from Dippy had the ball back in the Boro side.
It was backwards and forwards in the middle for a while until a penalty against Boro took Shelford up into the 22. They worked the width in both sides and scored in the corner. Not converted again.
Boro then retained possession for a while and gained ground but a kick over the top didn’t come off. Defence tightened up but the Boro ladies couldn’t hang onto the ball going forward.
Jess had been working hard in defence and had a couple of strong charges but stayed down after a tackle and was off with a dislocated shoulder. Alisha had also taken a knock, so Lucy and Megan were now on. Katy was also injured soon after and Lizi was on for her first game for Peterborough.
Mel drove forward from a lineout with Eve and Ellie in support but play became disjointed in midfield. Shelford broke through our defensive line but knocked on in their attempt to score.
Boro had been pushing forward in midfield but were struggling to get the ball wide.
Ellie and Emma finally had a chance but were bundled into touch. The lineout was lost and good offloading from Shelford sucked in Boro’s defence. Shelford were in and made it round to score under the posts. The try was converted.
Half time Shelford 17 Peterborough 0
Ellie didn’t make it back on after half time despite Nadine’s best efforts but Katy and Alisha were recovered enough to play again.
Boro forwards continued to hit up in attack and there was more strong defence but Shelford gained another turnover and were able to score again.
Boro had more possession in the second half but mistakes were costing us as Shelford were sharp on turnover ball and quick to get the ball wide to their strong runners. A kick over the top into space looked like a good option but Shelford were quick enough to gather and ran the full length. Try converted, 29-0
Boro punched some more holes with Eve and Mel, and out to on-field captain Zoe on a big loop. Lost to a penalty
There was an exchange of penalties and the pack worked the hard yards well to take us past halfway but Shelford again managed to pick up a kick over the top and ran full length again. 34-0
Boro continued to work hard in defence with Lucy ‘bringing the boom’ again! but after another reshuffle when Zoe was off injured, Shelford worked the ball both ways and scored again. 39-0
With Eve now also off Boro were a player down, but the ladies drove forward from the restart through Joss, Mel and Katy. Michelle took it onstrongly through the middle only to be brought up just short but the ball was recycled well for Katy to crash over. Michelle converted in what was to be the last act of the game. Boro worked hard and never gave up so that try was well deserved.
Final Score Shelford Ladies 39 Peterborough Ladies 7.
Our thanks to Shelford for the match, to the match officials, and to physio Nadine who was kept very busy.
Coach Hugh chose George and Nat as his forward and back of the match. Players player was Katy.
We hope for a swift recovery for those with injuries. Next week, the ladies will aim to improve on that first league result when they travel to Hitchin.
Match report by Amy Savage.