Bletchley Ladies 44 - Old Leamingtonian Ladies 7
By Ian Nobes
Bletchley comfortable win consolidates their place at the top of league.
Sunday, 13th January 2019: Bletchley Ladies 44– Old Leamingtonian Ladies 7
After the tough double header last week at Buckingham, Bletchley Ladies hosted their return match against Old Leamingtonians, who sit bottom of the table; an opportunity for some of our newer players to get some game time.
Old Leams took the opening kick, which was safely secured by Bletchley. The ladies worked through the phases, then Beth Metcalf made a break from Bletchley’s 22 to the middle of the visitors’ territory. The ladies continued to work the ball, progressing play towards the Leams try line. Just three minutes into play, Betty Sůsová put the ball down between the posts to open the scoring, with Rachael Taylor adding the extras; 7 – 0.
From the restart, it initially looked like Bletchley were up for an action replay; Jodie Denton took the ball and passed it out to Sůsová. She made a break from Bletchley’s 22, then the ball was recycled with speed, till a knock on gave Leams a scrum in the middle of their half. They secured this and pushed to regain ground. Bletchley managed to rip the ball from a ruck, then a few phases on another knock on gifted it back to their visitors. They pushed on, then had their own knock on as they passed out from the back of a maul. Bletchley secured the scrum and headed back in the opposite direction, to take back lost ground. This continued back and forth, with both teams pressing hard, then being forced into handling errors, and it was a good half hour before there was any more added to the score sheet. Finally, Bletchley took advantage of an unused maul from Old Leams, secured the scrum 10m into the visitors’ territory, passed back to Taylor, who kicked and chased down the pitch. She took it on the 22, passed along the line, then Bletchley drove it forward, popping it through the hands to Sůsová who took her second try; 12 – 0. Five minutes later, she did it again to leave the half time score 17 – 0.
Bletchley started the second half with a kick deep into Leams’ territory. Leams took the ball, but had it ripped from a ruck and soon Bletchley were pushing on their 22. A penalty from Leams further assisted; a quick tap and pass took Jodie Dimmock over the line for Bletchley’s fourth try; 22 – 0, just a minute into play.
Two minutes later and Bletchley secured their bonus point; Leams kicked deep into their host’s half from the restart. Bletchley took the ball, passed along to Taylor who made a break from her 22, down the pitch to put it down in the corner, opening the gap to 27 – 0. Fast forward five minutes and Dimmock took her second off a line out on Leams’ 22. Bletchley set up a maul, drove forward then passed out from the back so she could run it in; 32 – 0.
It took Bletchley a little while to get out of their own half from the next restart. Leams kept them contained, although they didn’t manage to gain possession. After recycling and patiently waiting, Bletchley took the opportunity to kick down the pitch, giving Leams a line out just in Bletchley’s half. Bletchley overturned the line out and continued to try and find a gap in their visitors’ defence. After passing back and forth across the pitch, Leams tackled Bletchley out to gain another line out. This time they held possession, passed along the line, then kicked over Bletchley’s heads. Clare Stacey took the catch and pushed back. Bletchley drove play forward, then had the ball ripped from a ruck, only to get it back almost immediately with a penalty from Leams. Bletchley kicked to touch, had a line out on the halfway line and pushed deep into Old Leams’ half. A knock on gave Leams the scrum and they started to claw back some of their lost ground. A penalty from their hosts further helped their cause and they worked play back into Bletchley’s half. Eventually they knocked on in a tackle, giving possession back in the middle of Bletchley’s half. The ball passed through the hands to Stacey who charged down the pitch. Old Leams put in a chase, but couldn’t catch her before she put the ball down between the posts. This time Taylor’s boot found its mark, taking Bletchley to 39 – 0, with quarter of an hour still to play.
Leams kicked deep but the ball found Rachael Appleby, who drove it forward. Bletchley fell in around her in support and they moved up to the halfway line, only to give a penalty to allow Leams to kick back down the pitch and take back lost space. Their respite was short lived, as Bletchley stole the ball at the line and popped it down to Appleby who again drove forward. They worked back up the pitch, kicked and chased to continue their progress. A short injury stop, then Bletchley had the scrum to restart. The ball passed back to Taylor, who kicked it over the top, putting in chase. She gathered the ball on Leams’ 22, shook off her first tackle, but knocked on at the second. Old Leams had the scrum well into their 22. They picked from the back and worked through the phases; Metcalf ripped the ball from one of the rucks, forcing a penalty from Leams. A quick tap and Metcalf ran in Bletchley’s last try; 44 – 0.
Leams kicked deep into Bletchley’s territory to restart; Dimmock took the catch and ran it back. Bletchley worked through several phases, then gave a penalty for holding on; Leams tapped and worked back. A second penalty helped their cause, allowing them to gain Bletchley’s 22. Bletchley gave another when they were off their feet; a quick tap from Leams and they finally managed to get the ball over the line to take the last points of the game: 44 – 7. This week’s bonus point win opens the margin a little wider at the top of the table, where Bletchley Ladies sit 3 points ahead of Lichfield 2nds and Buckingham Swans.
Next week should have seen Bletchley host Moseley in round 4 of the Women’s Intermediate Cup; however, Moseley have sustained a series of injuries, so have given a walkover, putting Bletchley Ladies through to the quarter finals, due to be played on 17th February. We look forward to finding out who our opposition will be. 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.