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  • Biggleswade Ladies Revel in mud, glorious mud

    Biggleswade Ladies/Cheshunt/Hitchin 5 – 36 Fullerians/Royston 

    A hastily-rearranged home game turned into a fun festival of sport on Good Friday, as Biggleswade Ladies braved atrocious conditions to play some old school muddy rugby.

    The ladies had already got themselves nicely soaked through and freezing cold watching Biggleswade 1st XV mens’ team play in the Beds Cup Final against Bedford Athletic.

    A clash of timings meant the men were still busy making themselves beautiful in the rugby changing rooms after their game, so the 40 or so women from five different clubs keen* (*stupid) enough to still want to run around in a downpour had to play ‘tag changing’ in the smaller squash changing rooms.

    Hopelessly optimistic hooker Carolyn ‘Willy’ Drake had spent most of the afternoon insisting to anyone within earshot that the weather was “definitely brightening up”, which proved to be as believable as her comment in the bar that she was “only staying for one or two”.

    In fact, the rain had got steadily heavier as the day went on, and conditions for the women’s match were ‘challenging’, to say the least.

    Picture from Carl Wolfenden

    But with rolling subs, and rolling around in puddles of standing water in order, the match was played in great spirits, and with some improvised moments – including referee Damian ‘Two Rods’ White moving scrums across the pitch to avoid the worst paddling pools.

    Tackling was difficult, as technique had to be spot on with everyone covered in a mud slick, but both sides still put in some crunching hits (offset ever so slightly by soft landings).

    Picture from Carl Wolfenden

    Handling wasn’t the best, but considering the conditions some good rugby was played. Jo ‘Show’ Beard returned to the fray after illness and splashed over the try line following a good backs’ move out to the wing after quick ball from a Biggy/Cheshunt/Hitchin scrum.

    Picture from Carl Wolfenden

    But it was the Fullerians/Royston side who proved more slippery in the tackle, and who ran in the rest of the game’s tries, despite some brave defence.

    Highlights of the match included a ‘try’ on one 5 metre line almost being awarded by mistake, Biggy captain and fly-half Charlie Field (who keeps on insisting she’s a forward), being carried off the field in a fireman’s lift by coach Jimmy Caulfield (telling her all the while: “You’re too bloody light to be a forward!”), and the haunted face of Biggleswade groundsman Graham Place, looking at the decimated pitch, shaking his head from side to side and silently mouthing: “Look at it, just look at it.”

    Picture from Carl Wolfenden

    Biggleswade’s Forward Of The Match was Claire Watson, for a strong, battling performance, while Back Of The Match was Teri Taylor, for an amazing tackle count and another good (and shouty!) showing at scrum half.

    A special mention also needs to go to the hardy supporters who stood on the sidelines and got some very dirty cuddles as their reward.

    Final Score*: Biggleswade Ladies/Cheshunt/Hitchin 5 – 36 Fullerians/Royston

    (*may not be entirely accurate due to notebook dropped in mud + brain and body freeze).

    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