Biggleswade Ladies outpaced by high-flying Bletchley27th March 2018
Bletchley Ladies 68 – 7 Biggleswade Ladies (Friendly)
The newly-established Biggleswade Ladies team continued their run of friendlies with a tough away game against high-flying Bletchley Ladies on Sunday.
The Biggleswade side knew they’d be hard-pressed to match Bletchley, who recently won promotion from the England Women’s Championship Midlands 2 League, (so will be three leagues higher than the level Biggy hope to start at next season).
With several players sick or unavailable, Biggy had their work cut out from the start, and Bletchley’s superior experience and rugby nous showed, when they scored within the first couple of minutes after a chip kick over the Biggleswade defence and into space behind, chased down by one of Bletchley’s speedy backs for an easy try.
Bletchley repeated the kick and chase pattern all afternoon, much to Biggy’s frustration. Any mistake from Biggy was latched onto and punished, with clinical precision and pace.
But there was much to be proud of in what could have been a disheartening game (especially in the face of a little bit of showboating by some members of the home side). Biggy kept their heads up all match, and had good reason to: they played with commitment and heart all through the game.
The forwards gave a good account of themselves, with Amy Schiller at No 8 making some powerful charges, Claire Watson bulldozing through to gain good ground, and flanker Sarah Ashby rucking and sniping with fierce commitment (before she had to go off with a head injury after a crunching Bletchley tackle).
Lineout work and scrummaging was strong, and flanker Emma Merrett showcased her catching skills in the air once more. The forwards worked hard on their pods, taking the ball into Bletchley’s 22 and making the home side defend. Biggleswade’s backs put together some good training pitch moves, with just the final ball going astray.
It would have been hugely unfair for Biggleswade not to come away with a try, and it was fittingly scored by captain and fly half Charlie Field, who burst through and stretched an arm over the try line after some hard-fought possession and pressure through several forward phases.
Biggleswade played some great rugby right through to the final whistle and can be justifiably proud of themselves for not allowing Bletchley to keep a clean sheet. On another day, with a couple of the missing Biggy backs available, they could have scored more. But it wasn’t to be, and the team’s steep learning curve continues.
Forward of the match: This was given to all the forwards jointly, for their strength and commitment. In a cruel decision, hooker Zaria Bettles – in the throes of an epic birthday hangover – was nominated to drink the after-match pint on their behalf (and needed a little help).
Back of the match was captain Charlie Field, for her involvement in nearly every move, and for scoring and converting the try.
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