Ladies run in nine tries against Deeping28th February 2019
Deeping Devils Ladies 5-58 Biggleswade Ladies
Biggleswade Ladies put together a storming performance away from home on Sunday, running in nine tries to record their biggest win of the season.
The match, against a determined Deeping Devils side, was tougher than the scoreline suggests. On an unseasonably hot day, with only 15 players available – including two newbies playing their first ever game of rugby – every Biggy teammate had to dig deep for 80 minutes to keep up the pressure and momentum.
After the horrors of having to play 10s in their last match, Biggleswade’s forwards were able to breathe a sigh of relief at being able to concentrate on the smashy rather than the runny stuff. And Biggleswade’s back line, who had worked hard in training to eliminate errors, showed a huge improvement in accuracy, pace and the timing of their runs.
Right from the kick-off, Biggleswade took the game to Deeping, pressing up and not giving their opposition time on the ball.
No 8 Amy Schiller bustled and bashed her way through the Devils’ defence to open the scoring, with captain and fly-half Charlie Field ‘carefully utlilising a post’ to help her conversion count.
Biggleswade speedster Kayleigh Jean chased down a well-placed kick from Charlie (posts not involved) to collect the ball at full pelt and sprint over the try-line for her first score of the day. Just a couple of minutes later, the ball was passed swiftly along the line to Kayleigh after some good forward phases, and she made another line-break into space and galloped over the line for her second try.
Meanwhile, hypochondriac hooker and vice captain Carolyn ‘Willy’ Drake, wheezing like a broken accordion just because of an ickle cold, excelled/embarrassed herself with her explanation to the ref of a late tackle: “Sorry, Sir, I’m a bit like an oil tanker – once I get going it takes me ages to stop.”
Connie McGinlay, playing her first league match for Biggy, put in a rock-solid stint at prop, showing great aggression in the rucks.
Bev ‘Northern’ Horsefield, returning from injury, proved she had lost none of her fire in the contact and breakdown.
Charlie ‘Footie’ Poynter, who we seem to have kidnapped and brainwashed from that silly round ball game, was playing her first ever game of rugby, and showed a cool head, slotting into the back line on the wing, and remembering not to argue with the ref or roll around on the floor crying.
Amy continued making great ground through the centre of the pitch with pick and gos. She sucked in several Deeping players, who tried to hold her up but couldn’t stop her marching backwards then pirouetting over the line. It was a move we could call balletic, but then again we’ve seen her do the River Dance.
Biggleswade took advantage of almost every opportunity but didn’t have it all their own way in the first 40 minutes, having been forced to work hard for every point, with the Devils making some big hits and proving themselves strong in ruck. The half ended 26-0 to Biggy, but Deeping had come close to scoring with a breakthrough of their own, stopped by Kayleigh chasing back for a try-saving tackle.
Kelly Hodgson, one of Biggleswade’s new players, had put in a great first 40 minutes of rugby, and grew in confidence in the second half, showing great strength in the scrum and making some line-busting carries, one of which led to Kayleigh’s third try.
With the score at 33-0, Deeping gave a penalty away, and Charlie’s decision to kick for points earned her some light-hearted boos from her own supporters on the sidelines. Charlie’s newly chilled on-pitch demeanour (attributed to her new ‘surfer dude Brad’ haircut) meant she rose above the heckling and slotted the ball away.
Deeping deserved credit for never dropping their heads, and they almost scored after a quick tap and go penalty, where they spotted an overlap on the wing, but just misjudged the final pass. Biggy’s scrum-half Teri Taylor showed good awareness to scoop up the loose ball on the bounce and run from her 22 all the way to Deeping’s 10 metre line before being caught. Teri managed a quick offload in the tackle to winger Penny George whose lung-busting support run earned her a try. It was good to see full-back Chloe White and flanker Emma Merrett also flying forward to provide extra support.
Charlie, having another strong game, deserved a try for all the hard tackling and good decision-making in the No 10 role. She made her own chance with a cheeky sidestep and inside line after she saw the Deeping defence drift a step too far to cover the expected ball out wide.
Biggy had one more try in them, and fittingly it was Kayleigh (with her fourth of the day), who made a short sprint off quick ball out from the ruck. Charlie’s conversion made it five from nine.
Prop Leigh Frost, clocking up another good shovey/lifty stint, had to go off with a mashed-up hand, but you probably knew that anyway, as her shout for ‘ICE!!!’ was heard three counties away. She came back on shortly after Amy had to leave the field with a knock to the ankle.
Deeping were still unwilling to stop chasing the game, and they piled on the pressure in the last five minutes, determined to break through Biggy’s defence. Chloe managed to chase down and catch one breakaway with a great tackle at pace, but, after several hard-fought phases, the Devils finally bustled their way over for their first try. No-one would begrudge them the points – they had played with real heart.
Forward of the match was Kelly Hodgson for a storming rugby debut.
Back of the match was Kayleigh Jean for her four tries and endless running engine.
Most surprising event of the day was seeing Emma Merret lose her temper on the pitch, and the subsequent look of fear on husband Henry’s face.
Final score: Deeping Devils Ladies 5-58 Biggleswade Ladies
PHOTO CREDIT: Pictures by Tom Frost