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Ladies XV - Match centre

Bletchley Ladies
Lichfield Ladies II
Sun 17 Mar 14:00 - RFUW - Women's Championship Midlands 2 Full time

Bletchley Ladies 38 -- Lichfield Ladies II 10

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Bletchley Ladies bonus point win leaves theme top of league for the 2nd year running.

What a difference a season makes! We last played Lichfield up at their ground in September as our first match of the season and narrowly lost; Lichfield Ladies II 17 – Bletchley Ladies 15. After last week’s resounding win at Moseley, the ladies knew they needed a bonus point win this week to finish off the season at the top of the table, but also knew they would be facing strong opposition and would need to give everything they had on the pitch. Added to which, despite a sunny forecast on Saturday, the weather had other ideas a delivered two skin battering hailstorms during the game, along with a high wind! Not the best conditions to be seeking 5+ tries in.
Lichfield took the opening kick, taken by Bletchley’s Laura Hussey, who set up a ruck to get things going. The ladies worked forward, then Emma Lucey picked from the back of a ruck and drove play into Lichfield’s half. A run from Caroline Collie gained more ground, then a missed pass was gathered up by Lichfield, who kicked it in an attempt to regain their lost ground. Sadly for them the kick went pretty much straight out, giving Bletchley the line out, just outside Lichfield’s 22. This was taken cleanly by Isla Peters, but was then called not straight (hardly surprising with the strong winds!), giving Lichfield the scrum. They secured this, passed back into the 22, then kicked the ball away, giving Bletchley another lineout on Lichfield’s 22, as it went straight out. Lichfield stole the ball, worked through their phases and slowly moved the ball out of their 22, only to have it ripped from a ruck by Olivia Pulfer. Bletchley took full advantage, drove forward, recycling well. A knock on gave Lichfield another chance to clear their lines with a scrum in the middle of their 22; they passed from the back and popped a kick to touch, giving Bletchley the line out. Peters secured it again, setting up a maul, then Lucey peeled off the back, passing along the line. A penalty from the visitors assisted progress, with a tap and pass out to Jodie Dimmock. A strong run, then passes out to Collie and Bletchley had their first try, between the posts, seven minutes into the game. The kick bounced back off the bar; 5 – 0.
Lichfield kicked deep for the restart. Bletchley ran it back, then got tackled out, giving Lichfield the line out. Another one sabotaged by the wind; it wasn’t a friend to either side today, giving Bletchley a scrum. Pulfer picked from the back and ran play into the visitors’ half. The ladies continued their pressure, pushing toward the 22, then a penalty gave Lichfield possession. They took a quick tap and passed through the hands, then kicked up the pitch. Dimmock was waiting, as ever, and Bletchley pushed back up to Lichfield’s 22. Lichfield knocked on, trying to take the ball from a ruck, giving Bletchley a scrum. They continued to attack, but were met with a strong defence, then Lichfield managed to rip the ball and kicked away again – only to find Dimmock on guard. Again Bletchley pushed up, then had a pass intercepted, luckily resulting in a knock on. Bletchley passed out from the back of the scrum and kicked to touch on the halfway mark. Lichfield took the catch and set up a maul, only to be driven into touch by Bletchley, reversing the honours at the lineout. This time Bletchley were taking no prisoners; they drove forward, passing along the line and working through the phases. Collie took the ball into Lichfield’s 22 and set up a ruck. Rachael Appleby drove the ball forward from this, then passed out through the hands to Beth Metcalf, who took Bletchley’s next points between the posts. Collie added the extras; 12 – 0. Two minutes later and Metcalf and her partner in crime, Collie, did it again; 19 – 0.
Bletchley pushed up from the restart, working to gain ground. Lichfield ripped the ball from a ruck, then Bletchley gave a penalty at another ruck. Lichfield took a quick tap and pushed back at their hosts. A loose ball was gathered up by Alex Sutton, then she was tackled into touch, giving Lichfield the lineout. They pushed on again, driving hard. Bletchley managed to rip the ball again, then kicked it away. Lichfield secured the catch, then another penalty from their hosts’ added momentum to their progress. They took a quick tap before Bletchley could retreat 10, then a kick to touch in the middle of Bletchley’s 22. They secured this and pushed hard on the line. They worked through a few phases, looking for a gap; their patience paid off and they took their first, unconverted points, half an hour into the game; 19 – 5.
Lichfield took the ball from the restart and kicked it back; a tidy bounce took it into touch, giving Bletchley a lineout. They secured this and mixed up play to work their way up the pitch. Another strong drive from Appleby added energy going forward, then the ball worked through the hands to Clare Stacey, who ran it in from the middle of Lichfield’s half for Bletchley’s next points. With another touch down between the posts, Bletchley’s lead opened up to 26 – 5, and still more than five minutes of the first half to play.
Another deep kick restarted play, taken cleanly by Pulfer, who drove it forward. A knock on gave Lichfield the scrum, 15m from Bletchley’s 22. They secured this and passed along the line, looking for a gap in Bletchley’s tough defence, which held them out of the 22. A penalty from Bletchley gave an opening and Lichfield opted to kick to touch, giving them a line out in the middle of Bletchley’s 22. They secured this and continued their hunt for space, then Bletchley spoilt the party for them, ripped the ball from a ruck, passed along the line to Stacey, who put in a strong run. Lichfield chased, and managed to tackle her out; luckily the ball went into touch off the Lichfield player, giving Bletchley the lineout. Bletchley knocked on in the line out; as Lichfield secured the ball the referee played advantage. Lichfield worked through the phases again, clawing back lost ground, then kicked over the top. Dimmock was ready, took the catch and ran the ball back. Bletchley worked the ball hard, then another strong drive from Pulfer gained more ground. Bletchley moved into their visitors’ end, then a pass out to Stacey was all that was needed to finish the half with another try. Collie was waiting to add the conversion; 33 – 5 for the half time score.
The second half opened to a horrendous hailstorm, with the wind lashing the hail into the players! Play continued doggedly on, and after five minutes, Sutton took Bletchley’s next points; 38 – 5.
As the storm eased, play moved up and down the pitch, with both teams continuing to fight for the next points. Bletchley gained the halfway point, then Lichfield took over and pushed them back. Bletchley retaliated and regained ground, then knocked on to give a scrum on the half way line again. Lichfield pushed back to Bletchley’s 22 again, then camped there as Bletchley held fast. The visitors set up a maul, then passed out from the back and kicked over the top. The ball bounced over the try line, but Stacey got to it first, giving Bletchley a 22 drop out. Lichfield took the catch, then Bletchley ripped between the players as they passed it and took possession. First Stacey, then Amie Daniel took on the run, to take play back up to the middle of the pitch, then a kick from Collie took play into Lichfield’s half. Lichfield took the catch and set up a ruck, passed the ball back then kicked down the field themselves. Lucey was there this time, driving play back over the halfway line. As play progressed, a knock on from a pass was deemed deliberate and Lichfield opted to take a scrum in the middle of their half. Both teams were pushing and play remained set around the halfway mark; Bletchley gained some ground, then Lichfield, ping ponging play around. Finally, Lichfield moved play up into Bletchley’s 22, with a kick from a penalty giving them a line out on Bletchley’s 5m line. A knock on gave Bletchley the scrum; they secured the ball and passed along the line. An attempt to clear the line was charged down, then Bletchley knocked on trying to gather the ball. Lichfield took the scrum on the 5m again and passed out along the line, dropping the ball before scrambling to re-secure it. They worked back and forth but Bletchley had dug in, eventually forcing a knock on, giving them a scrum and a chance to clear again. Metcalf picked the ball from the back and charged round the scrum and up the pitch. She made it to the middle of Bletchley’s half before she was caught, so set up a ruck. Play continued to move away from Bletchley’s 22, and finally Bletchley got to the middle of the pitch and set up a ruck. Lichfield pushed them back, then it was their turn to force a knock on, to take a scrum in the middle of Bletchley’s territory. Bletchley drove the scrum hard, but Lichfield retained possession, popped the ball out a couple of times, then ran the try in, in the corner. With four minutes to play, these were the final points of the match, giving a final score of 38 – 0, and the bonus point win Bletchley needed. An anxious wait followed, to check Buckingham hadn’t managed a game like Bletchley had last week, but a couple of hours later it was confirmed that Bletchley had held the top spot and won the Championship Midlands 2 league for the second year.
Bletchley Ladies have a busy time coming up. Job one is done; League Champions. Next week they travel up to Harrogate to compete in the semi-finals of the Women’s National Intermediate Cup; depending on the result of that, there could be a final in the offing, the weekend before Easter. On the 7th April, the ladies have the play-offs to see whether they or Harrogate Ladies move up to Championship One, then on the 24th April, they defend their title in the Alliance Cup back up at Saints, at their home, Franklins Gardens. 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, sallymelvyn@uwclub.net, or just turn up on Wednesday, with your boots, and see what we’re about.

Team:
1. Rachael Appleby
2. Laura Hussey
3. Jodie Denton
4. Kass Carry
5. Amie Daniel
6. Isla Peters
7. Beth Metcalf
8. Liv Pulfer
9. Emma Lucey
10. Hannah Prescott
11. Alex Sutton
12. Caroline Collie
13. Clare Stacey
14. Stephanie Craig
15. Jodie Dimmock
SUBS:
16. Rae Taylor
17. Cazz Kay
18. Verity Robinson
19. Alexia Dany
20. Nicola Coaker
21. Claire Haines
22. Sarah Cartlidge

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Women's Championship Midlands 2 results

Kenilworth Ladies
22
34

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Bletchley Ladies 14 54
2. Buckingham Swans Ladies 14 54
3. West Bridgford Ladies 14 46
4. Lichfield Ladies II 14 42
5. Birmingham Moseley Ladies 14 27
6. Wymondham Wasps Ladies 14 26
7. Kenilworth Ladies 13 20

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