Biggleswade Ladies narrowly lose in second game27th November 2017
Biggleswade Ladies 10 – 17 Towcester Roses
Supporters who turned out in force for Biggleswade Ladies’ first home friendly on Sunday were rewarded with an entertaining and highly competitive game.
Established side Towcester – who won their last two league matches 82-0 and 64-5 – were tough opposition for the new Biggleswade team, playing only their second ever match.
Biggleswade were committed from the off, stepping up to put in some crunching early tackles, determined not to be intimidated by the Towcester forwards.
Towcester’s more experienced pack were strong in the scrum, but Biggleswade’s forwards showed grit and resolve to get some pushes on of their own (with the scrum count standing at more than 20 by the end of the match). No 3 Drea Lee showed great strength, especially as she was nursing injured fingers which made it difficult to get a grip in the bind.
Biggleswade’s line-outs were hugely improved with some excellent lifting and jumping from the forwards, who managed to take some of the opposition’s ball in the air.
The Biggleswade backs were running some great lines, with Ellie Reeve, Teri Taylor and Ellen Walsh making breaks to push into Towcester’s half, and No 9 Holly Crawford feeding the ball out quickly under intense pressure.
Centre Teri Taylor earned her Back Of The Match award with some calm passing, good running, and consistently hard hits on some big opposition players making breaks. She also put in great stints covering as scrum half in the third quarter and full back in the fourth, and was involved in almost every move of the match.
Both sides had plenty of possession and the score remained deadlocked for almost half an hour, before Towcester carried over for a hard-earned try (no conversion).
The Roses increased their lead with a second try shortly afterwards, after a break from their Number 8 which saw her run half the length of the pitch.
A conversion put the scoreline up to 0 -12, and Biggleswade’s heads could easily have gone down at this point, with nothing to show so far for their commitment and effort.
Instead, the try spurred Biggleswade on, and they upped the pressure after the break, pressing forward into Towcester’s 22. A smash, charge and carry from Biggleswade’s No. 8 Amy Schiller, who was held up just short of the line, led to Biggleswade’s first – and thoroughly deserved – try. Her efforts laid the groundwork for Biggleswade to push on again, with gutsy flanker Rachel Poulson diving over a pile of Towcester players to score, much to the crowd’s delight.
A missed conversion meant the home side were going into the final 20 minutes trailing 5-12. The battle for possession resumed with both sets of forwards contesting hard at breakdowns and rucks, and Towcester eventually managing to break over the try-line and add a further five points.
Biggleswade responded again. Anna Kolanczyk, who made an impressive debut appearance for the club as a replacement No 13, was only stopped from scoring due to a huge defensive effort from Towcester to hold her up when she crossed their try line.
But Biggy still weren’t finished. Stealing possession on the right hand side of the pitch, the team worked the ball to the opposite wing for Ellen Walsh to run in like a rocket on the left side, her speed and strength carrying her past several Roses players. It was Biggleswade’s best move of the match, but there was no time left to get that vital third try and conversion needed to level the points.
Final score: 10 – 17
Special mentions also go to lock Zaria Bettles who tackled consistently well in her first ever game of contact rugby (her debut showing earning her Forward Of The Match); Claire Huckle, who ran and contested fiercely despite nursing a leg injury; and fly half and captain Charlie Field, whose battling performance once again had her leading by example.
Coach Jimmy Caulfield said: “The girls stepped up and really took the game to the Roses. It was a good show of skills from both sides and a another step forward for Biggleswade Ladies.”
Captain Charlie Field said: “Despite the scoreline we showed exactly what we are made of and how far we have come. I am very lucky to be captain to these ladies, and as ever our belief in our ability continues to grow.
She added: “We’d like to thank all the supporters who came – what a fantastic turnout!”
Biggleswade Ladies hold training sessions on Mondays and Fridays between 7.15pm and 9pm at Biggleswade Rugby Club on Langford Road. It’s free to try – click on the link to find out more: http://biggleswadeladiesrugby.co.uk
Featured Image: Back Of The Match Teri Taylor in action. Credit: David Kay
Charlie Field evades a tackle. Credit: David Kay