Bletchley Ladies 11 Buckingham Swans 31
By Ian Nobes
Hard day at the office for Bletchley Ladies.
.Sunday, 7th October 2018: Bletchley Ladies 11 – Buckingham Ladies 31
After coming up against Buckingham Ladies four times last season, both teams had something to prove this week. Bletchley had the honours to open the game; Buckingham took possession and ran back at them, but after a few phases Bletchley regained the ball. A penalty was awarded for a high tackle, and as Bletchley were well up in Buckingham’s half, they opted to go for the posts and took the first points of the game, courtesy of Caroline Collie’s boot; 3 – 0, with just five minutes of game time elapsed.
Buckingham weren’t going to take this lying down; from the restart they pushed hard, gained possession and moved up. Just eight minutes after Bletchley opened the score sheet, Buckingham went ahead with a converted try; 3 – 7.
Now the teams settled into the battle, and it was a good fifteen minutes before there was any addition to the points. The teams pushed each other hard, with possession moving back and forth and the game moving up and down the pitch. Buckingham pushed up into Bletchley’s territory, then Bletchley pushed it back. Buckingham took the game back up the pitch and made the 5m line before being tackled out, to give Bletchley a reprieve. Buckingham stole the line out and passed along the line, but couldn’t find a chink to get through. Finally, Bletchley ripped the ball from a ruck, then forced a penalty from Buckingham to kick clear. Buckingham knocked on, giving Bletchley further help with a scrum back in their visitors half. However, Bletchley gave a penalty in the scrum, allowing Buckingham to kick the ball clear; it didn’t make touch and Jodie Dimmock gathered it up and ran back at Buckingham. Bletchley set up a series of rucks, then Buckingham ripped the ball, pushed back up the pitch and took their second try, this time not converted; 3 – 12.
Another fifteen minutes of hard fought rugby and Bletchley closed the gap down with a try from Jodie Denton; 8 – 12. In the closing minute of the first half, Buckingham reopened the margin with another converted try, giving a half time score of 8 -19.
Bletchley came back strong at the start of the second half. Denton took the catch from the kick and pushed up. Bletchley worked through the phases, gaining ground with each, then Buckingham ripped the ball from a ruck just before a short injury stop. Having had possession as we went into the stop, Buckingham restarted with the scrum, popped it out from the back, ran up, then knocked on to give possession back to their hosts. Bletchley drove forward from the scrum, then passed along the line, out to Collie who kicked it down the field. Buckingham took the catch, but had the ball ripped at the resulting ruck. Bletchley worked it through the phases again, then Dimmock pushed forward before passing on. The ball found collie again who booted it on; Buckingham took it and kicked to touch. No ground was gained, as they kicked straight out, and Bletchley had the honours at the line out, just outside Buckingham’s 22. They secured the ball and set up a maul. They pushed up, then popped the ball out along the line. A penalty from Buckingham helped, then another for a high tackle gave Bletchley the opportunity to go for the posts again, moving the score to 11 -19, eight minutes into the half.
Buckingham kicked deep for the restart. Bletchley took it cleanly, then took a high tackle giving them a penalty advantage. They kicked to touch and secured the line out, working hard to gain lost ground. Another penalty form Buckingham helped them into Buckingham’s half. Buckingham dug in, and eventually forced a penalty from Bletchley and took possession. They moved back up the pitch, then gave another penalty themselves for holding on – luckily for Bletchley, as they had made Bletchley’s 5m line. Bletchley kicked to touch, but couldn’t hold their line out, allowing Buckingham to push forward again. A quick tap through was taken by Bletchley and they pushed Buckingham back from their line. This to-and-fro continued for a good quarter of an hour; Bletchley finally managed to push on the Buckingham line, then gave a penalty to allow them to clear the ball. Another penalty as Buckingham pushed up help their progress further, and eventually, 25 minutes after the first points this half, Buckingham moved further ahead with another converted try.
Buckingham still hadn’t finished. Just two minutes before the game was up, they made a break from the middle of Bletchley’s half to put the ball down in the corner and move the points on to 11-31 for the closing score.
Next week, Bletchley Ladies travel up to Leamington to play Old Leamingtonian Ladies. Bletchley Ladies are a friendly, welcoming squad who train at Manor Fields on a Wednesday night, 7.00 – 8.30pm. They play hard, both on and off the pitch! We are always open to new recruits, whatever level you play at. If you think you’d like to be involved with this successful squad, come along and give us a try. For further information, contact Sally Peters, email@example.com, or just turn up on Wednesday, with your boots, and see what we’re about.