Wellesbourne Ladies Fight to 4th Place

Midlands Ladies Touch League

Last Updated: Oct 5, 2014 09:46pm
Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford-on-Avon
By Claire Daniell
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Determination, sweat and perseverance got the Wellesbourne Ladies RFC into the top four of the Midlands Ladies Touch League tournament at Cannock for their 2nd last one of the season. They should have had a squad of 14, but only had 6 players for their 6, 14 minute, quick pace matches. Their positive attitude delivered them a deserved 7 points on the day. 

They met Ross-On-Wye RFC in their first match which was a slow starter. Becci Ansty scored the only try of the match with a marvellous dummy side step that left the Ross defence standing static. Ansty was on form with her side steps and quick feet and scored another try in their 2nd match against hosts Cannock and set up a try for Katerine Hoolian who bombed it down the wing to make it 2-0. Captain Claire Davis scored two with one being a cheeky dive just out of reach of the Cannock defence. Vice-Captain Lorna Wale stormed home with a 5th try making the final score 5-0 to the Bourne. Their 3rd match saw them lose to Bromyard RFC 3-0. The Bourne, starting to get weary from their lack of subs, still held a good defence against the top of the league champs. Their final pool game was against Camp Hill. Not unnerved by one of their squad, Claire Rylance, recently making the English Touch Team to play in Australia for the World Cup in 2015, Bourne kept up good communication and held a strong defence to deny Camp Hill the win with a final score of 2-1 to the Bourne. Captain Davis scored the opening try with another fine dive after a quick sprint to the score line but Camp Hill came back after a sweeping move across the pitch to beat the Bourne on the wing. The winning match try was scored by Scouser Hoolian after catching a Camp Hill defender off balance, found a great line and dashed to the scoreline for the win which put the Bourne in 2nd place for their pool.

Fatigue was hitting the team as they entered their 5th game of the day, their 3rd match without a break, to play 2nd in the MLT league Pershore RFC. Pershore had a strong squad and despite at times Wellesbourne only played with 5 players on the pitch due to injury they lost with a respectable final score of 2-1. Again Scouser Hoolian found a tight line through the Pershore defence to score their only try. 

The most interesting and passionate game of the day was without doubt the 3rd and 4th place play off between Wellesbourne and local rivals Stratford RFC. A strongly disputed decision made by the referee raised the tempo and desire from both teams to fight to death for a win.  Despite it being the 6th game of the day, both teams suffering with injured players, a battle commenced to be the winner of 8 points and finish 3rd. Bourne and Stratford held a good defence with Carol Fletcher setting the high standard for Bourne. Neither let any through until the final whistle went which resulted in a drop off play. This is where both teams drop a player every 2 minutes until there is a score. With 4 players on the pitch, Stratford unleashed the formidable Laura Facey who sprinted the width of the pitch just beating Ansty by an inch to score the winning try. 

Wellesbourne went to Cannock tournament with nothing to lose and everything to play for. They showed an awe-inspiring optimism despite being the only team there with no subs and it paid off. When asked what was the secret to their success on the day Captain Davis said “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. Throughout the season we have worked hard, trained hard and played hard together. We trust each member to back us up on the pitch. When a team has that trust there is no breaking them. We train Thursdays at 7pm at the Home Guard Club in Tiddington. Whether it is about rediscovering sporting abilities you forgot you had or about getting fit again and making new friends we welcome all ladies aged 14 years +. Experience is not necessary. Fun, fitness and friendship go hand and hand in this NON-contact version of rugby.”


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