Biggleswade proved just too strong for the Stortford ladies
By Carly Poyser
Wearing Orange for World Meningitis Day
Game Played 7th April 2pm
Bishops Stortford ladies team were under no illusion of the challenge which faced them when they hosted second placed Biggleswade at home on Sunday in the last league game of the season.
The blue belles, sitting in third place before the encounter, were up against it from the start as the very physical visiting team retained possession well and allowed Stortford very little ball to play with in the opening exchanges.
Some great defensive work close to the breakdown, wasn’t enough and the visitors pressure was too much to contain. On 12 mins the visitors scored a try out wide through their rapid winger, Jo Franklin. Captain Charlie Field added the conversion.
More physical exchanges were to follow and a great contest began to ensue with neither team able to break down the others organised defence. With much of the match being played in the middle third of the pitch, the two evenly matched sides went tit-for-tat for around fifteen minutes before Stortfords powerful forwards finally broke through. Georgia Read showed both power and pace as she initially shrugged off tacklers to clear the way and eventually won the foot race to the line to touch down for the home teams first points. Conversion missed, 5-7.
The visitors came back strongly, and they started to recognise their superiority in the backs, where their pace outflanked Stortford on numerous occasions. With only five minutes of the half remaining their outside centre ran well and dotted down for another try. Half time score 5-12.
The second half was another evenly contested affair with both sides putting together great rugby as well as some bruising defence. Several stoppages for injuries, unfortunately left the home side licking their wounds with Morriz being the most notable casualty with a double break to the lower leg leading to surgery early on Monday morning.
The Silver Leys side continued to battle bravely being led from the front by inspirational skipper Nikky Wilkins, until Biggy’s backs again managed to break through out wide to extend their lead with another converted try.
With both sides having made several changes, Stortfords replacement scrum half Chloe Capp, who only recently started playing rugby, kept the blue forwards rolling forward and following a great passage of play, flanker Carleigh Lalonge manage to bustle over through several defenders for a try to round off a strong performance by her.
The home crowd feeling hopeful for a comeback, soon had their hopes dashed as the visitors cleverly played out the rest of the match using their backs who had looked dangerous all afternoon. Two more tries followed well worked moves from the Biggy back line and the afternoon was effectively over for Bishops.
A great, well balanced match finished with an unfairly one sided result 10-31.