St Mary's took to the field on Sunday knowing that 5 points would mean the league title would be in touching distance, provided closest rivals Newton Abbot were also able to secure a bonus point in their fixture. North Petherton were the visitors and despite a huge delay due to a milk disaster on the M5 and the looming storm which threatened to land at any moment, the game kicked off in front of a healthy crowd. Mary's started fast, with some great shape, strong carries and physicality at the breakdown.This enabled the backs to move the ball wide where new found winger Harriet Quick lived up to her name and out paced the cover to score in the corner. Jade 'Gambo' Gamlin then landed the kick of the season when she converted from the touchline with a ridiculous wind to compete against. 7-0. Pethy then had a really good spell of territory as the hosts seemingly took their foot off the gas until flanker Victoria Shakspeare had had enough and smashed her way over the line for Mary's second. Gambo converted 14-0. Mary's well on top now and looking dangerous with ball in hand. 28 minutes gone and once again the ball was moved wide. Quick bought down short but the ball recycled quickly and open side Kirsty Fido finished superbly to dot down between two defenders. Conversion wide, 19-0. Then on half time it was an action reply of the first try with some excellent work form the pack creating width and then some excellent handling particularly by debutant Laura Mcglone who gave the try scoring pass for Harriet Quick to touch down. Conversion off the upright. Half time 24-0. Second half best summed up with a good start and end with the middle pretty hard going as injuries, uncontested scrums and weather conditions meant all tempo was lost. Marys started as they finished with some good phases before Harriet Quick completed and excellent hat trick to take the lead out to 29-0. Pethy then quickly rallied and got the ball to their outstanding centre who set off, slipped a couple of half hearted attempts and raced away to score under the sticks. Conversion good. And then with the final play of the game she was at it again. A penalty kicked high into midfield, some indecision in defence and Pethy collected the bouncing ball to score under the sticks. Conversion good and final score 29-14. Satisfactory form the home side. A first half to remember and a second to forget, but 5 points gained and all eyes on the result from Newton Abbot. A win, but no bonus point and that meant Marys couldnt be caught. Victory and the league title secured. A brilliant achievement by everyone who has been involved with the ladies this season. They have worked so hard and have been an absolute credit to the rugby club. But, its not done yet. 2 league games remaining and a promotion play off to look forward to and so still some exciting challenges ahead. Today, pats on the back go to Michaela Excell, Boe Meaton and Kirsty Fido who were excellent in the pack and to Gambo, Chloe Tucker and Elaine Hughes who had great games in the backs. Special mentions this week to Emily Robson and Laura Mcglone who made fantastic debuts and to Bryony Taylor who leaves for Canada in a week (we'll have a drink next weekend.) No doubting though the player of the match; Harriet Quick who after 4 years got her first league tries for the club and topped it off with a hat trick. Loved watching you score, loved watching you celebrate. Well done!
16 Mar Devizes away. KO 1400
24 Mar Newton Abbot HOME. KO 1430
7 Apr Promotion Play-off. Venue TBC
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