Bletchley Ladies 19 - West Bridgford Ladies 14
By Ian Nobes
Bletchley Ladies show competitive edge in victory against West Bridgford
Sunday, 25th November 2018: Bletchley Ladies 19 – West Bridgford Ladies 14
Bletchley were looking forward to this week’s game, as they were facing a new opponent, with West Bridgford having come down from Championship 1 last season. A new team is always an extra challenge, and with their experience at the higher level the ladies were expecting to have to find their best game.
Bletchley took the opening kick to set the ball rolling. West Bridgford secured the catch and pushed up, working through the phases. A knock on gave Bletchley the scrum in the middle of the visitor’s territory. They secured this, moved forward, working the ball. Rachael Taylor kicked down the pitch, bouncing in to touch on the 22. West Bridgford gave a penalty at the lineout and Bletchley chose a scrum. West Bridgford put in a big push, turned over the scrum, then worked the ball back up to the halfway point. They continued to push into Bletchley’s territory, then a knock on gave Bletchley the chance to gain back lost ground.
The ball passed through the Bletchley hands to Betty Susova, who drove it back into West Bridgford’s territory. A quick tap taken after a penalty moved the ladies deeper. Beth Metcalf pushed play up into the 22; a few phases on and Jodie Dimmock took the ball on the run, only to have a forward pass called. West Bridgford passed back from the resulting scrum and kicked the ball up the pitch. Dimmock was there again; this time she was tackled out! Fortunately, the visitors knocked on in the line out, giving Bletchley a scrum and a further chance to take control. This was successful, passing out along the line. Liv Pfulfer drove it forward. A few more phases, then West Bridgford ripped possession from a scrum, passed back then kicked into Bletchley’s half. Clare Stacey took it and ran back at them. The ladies continued to drive forward, with a penalty helping them in their effort. The ball was kicked to touch on the 22, then a clean jump at the lineout, from Isla Peters, popped the ball down and it was passed out to Caroline Collie. She pushed up to within 5m of line, was tackled, spilt the ball which West Bridgford took up and kicked away. Bletchley knocked on, giving their visitors the scrum as well, though it was still in their 22.
West Bridgford moved play further from their danger zone, with a kick up the pitch. Dimmock was on hand, took the catch and ran it back. A couple of quick pops, then the ball found Stacey who ran it back into the 22. A hard tackle gave a knock on, and another scrum for the visitors. They won this and stood back for a deep kick, just short of the mid-way line. An early lift gave Bletchley a free kick; they took a tap, passed along the line then Metcalf set up a maul. After a few metres, Bletchley peeled off and continued their progress. A few phases on and West Bridgford ripped the ball back, and drove play away again. Another kick was knocked on by Bletchley, putting the visitors in the driving seat, in Bletchley’s 22 this time. They worked the ball along the line, looking for a gap in Bletchley’s defence. A misjudged pass gave a loose ball; Stacey tapped it to touch, giving the visitors another chance. More pressure on Bletchley’s line, but the hosts dug in, trying to force another mistake. Another misjudged pass and this time Stacey gathered it up, making a brilliant break from West Bridgford’s 22 line, all the way down the pitch, to put the ball down for the first points. Collie made the extras, giving an opening score of 7 – 0, more than half way into the first half.
From the restart, Rebecca Jelley took the ball for Bletchley; a penalty from their visitors gave them a kick to take a line out, from which they set up a rolling maul. They passed the ball from the back and out along the line, moving forward all the time. Collie put in a run, but was tackled out, giving West Bridgford a line out. They used this to good effect, worked the ball along the line, then kicked deep into Bletchley territory. Dimmock took the catch cleanly and pushed back. A couple of rucks on, Emma Lucey made a lovely box kick; her team mates weren’t quick enough on the chase and West Bridgford took possession. They pushed back, assisted by a penalty for a high tackle. Another kick was taken safely by Dimmock on the 5m line. She kicked to touch, giving West Bridgford a line out on Bletchley’s 22. They took the catch and popped the ball down. A quick pass out was then run across the pitch, looking for space. Another high tackle, and the visitors opted to go for the points; the ball sailed wide, giving Bletchley a kick back from the 22.
West Bridgford set up a ruck from the catch, then knocked on. The ref played advantage; Bletchley worked the ball out to Taylor, who made a break, only to be tackled out in West Bridgford’s 22. West Bridgford secured the line out, then kicked the ball to touch themselves, giving the line out honours back to Bletchley, in the middle of their visitors’ territory. Peters popped the ball down to Rachael Appleby who pushed forward. Bletchley worked the phases, rumbling up the pitch. West Bridgford ripped the ball, then kicked back to Dimmock, who ran it straight back at them. A penalty helped things along further, with Taylor booting the ball to touch, just out of West Bridgford’s 22. The throw wasn’t straight, giving the visitors a scrum. They secured this, but then had the ball ripped from a ruck. Bletchley drove up, pushed forward by Susova, who set up a ruck just short of the try line. A couple more phases and Appleby got the ball and put it down over the line, with Taylor taking the extras to move Bletchley to 14 – 0. The final five minutes of the first half produced no further score.
West Bridgford opened the second half with attitude. Bletchley took the catch, then immediately lost the ball at a ruck. West Bridgford worked up the pitch, then knocked on in the middle of Bletchley’s territory. After several resets, Bletchley finally took the scrum and kicked the ball back down the pitch. The ball was run straight back at them, helped by a penalty. A series of rucks, then Bletchley ripped the ball, passed along the line and kicked it up the pitch. West Bridgford took the catch, but Stacey was there to tackle them out. Bletchley secured the line out, just 10m outside their 22. Peters set up a maul and they pushed further back from the 22. The ball popped out, passed along the line, then was driven into the opponent’s half. However, they weren’t letting any mistakes go and ripped the ball back from a ruck. They ran it back at their hosts, working through the phases. The ball was unplayable at a ruck, but, as it was taken in by West Bridgford, they kept possession going into the scrum. They drove forward hard, took a quick tap from a penalty and finally ran it over the line and took the extras to close the gap to 14 – 7, ten minutes into the second half.
It took a full twenty minutes before the next set of points went on the sheet. Both teams pressed hard and were well matched. Play ebbed and flowed, but eventually West Bridgford made good use of a penalty from Bletchley, allowing them to kick to touch, just 10m outside of Bletchley’s 22. They secured the line out, worked patiently through the phases to put the ball down for a second converted try to even the score; 14 – 14.
Bletchley weren’t going to take this lying down! Just two minutes later Collie ran in Bletchley’s third try, this time unconverted, to take them back ahead; 19 – 14. Despite both teams’ best efforts to take further points, this remained the score to close the game, eight minutes later.
Bletchley Ladies are back at the Manor on the 9th December, hosting Kenilworth Ladies for our return match with them. The following week we travel back up to Kenilworth, as we have been drawn them in the next round of the Ladies National Intermediate cup. All support on the touch line is always welcome. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or just turn up on Wednesday, with your boots, and see what we’re about.
1. Jodie Denton
2. Laura Hussey
3. Rachael Appleby
4. Rebecca Jelley
5. Kass Carry
6. Isla Peters
7. Beth Metcalf
8. Olivia Pfulfer
9. Emma Lucey
10. Rachael Taylor
11. Alex Sutton
12. Betty Susova
13. Caroline Collie
14. Clare Stacey
15. Jodie Dimmock
16. Sarah Cartlidge
17. Toni Ranger
18. Amie Daniels
19. Lucy Draper
20. Charlotte Gallop
21. Alexia Dany