TOUGH FRIENDLY TESTS BIGGLESWADE LADIES27th October 2018
Biggleswade Ladies 17 – 49 Chesham/Bletchley Ladies
After an enforced break of five weeks since their last match, due to opposition teams dropping out, Biggleswade Ladies desperately needed some game time before thieir upcoming cup match away against Towcester.
Captain Charlie Field worked hard behind the scenes to arrange a friendly, and a side made up of players from Buckinghamshire clubs Chesham and Bletchley came to Langford Road to give Biggy Ladies a useful run-out.
Biggleswade’s team included two players taking part in their first ever game of rugby, two playing their second ever matches, and another returning to the game after a long break.
Sunday’s match began with a fast kick and chase from Chesham/Bletchley, with some quick off-loading leading to an early try.
Biggleswade got their game-heads on and some good forward work led to territory gains and pressure, with much of the play in the opposition’s half. Biggleswade’s tackling was on point, with some strong hits from full back Anna Kolańczyk and new player Kayleigh Jean, who found herself right in the thick of things, switching to centre from wing for her second ever game of rugby.
Despite Biggy’s commitment, the visitors scored another two breakaway tries, the second from another kick and chase.
Biggleswade’s heads didn’t go down, and the team knew their pressure in Chesham/Bletchley’s half would eventually reap rewards. Some focused attacking play with forward momentum and quick pop passes led to a great try from Kayleigh, dodging four of five opposition players to run in for the score (converted by fly-half Charlie Field).
The crunching tackles continued but Biggleswade couldn’t convert pressure into points, and despite some brilliant defending from Anna, it was the visitors who scored again, making the half time score 22-7 to Chesham/Bletchley.
Newbie Chloe White (daughter of club stalwart Damo) made a great debut, including a brace of try-saving tackles. Anna continued to chase down breakaways like the tequila-fuelled demon she is, but the opposition again took advantage of any missed tackle or mistake to run in more tries, using their kicking game and speedy Bletchley backs to good effect.
Biggy refused to give up, and got more points on the scoresheet following an excellent blind side run from No 9 Teri Taylor, leading to great interplay with newbie Penny George, a quick forward recycle, and a debut try from Penny on her first ever game of rugby, earning a rousing cheer from teammates.
Centre Claire Huckle put in a typically committed performance, but had to come off after a strong tackle which took down her opposite number. Steph Cooke also made some vital tackles in her second ever match.
The final points of the match were Biggleswade’s, with some strong running from second row battering ram Claire Watson and No 8 Amy Schiller (who clocked up another huge tackle count). Claire showed speed and strength to score right in the corner with what was the last play of the game.
Forward of the Match was Carolyn ‘Willy’ Drake (sponsored by Frozen Ps Business and Start Up Consultancy), for putting in some big hits.
A special mention also goes to newbie Connie McGinlay, returning to rugby after a two year break, who played loosehead prop for Biggleswade after coming along to her first training session on Friday night. She showed huge heart and strength and slotted in well to an unfamiliar line-up and system.
Back of the Match was Chloe White for a great debut. A big shout out also goes to Penny George for her performance. Both newbies were nervous before the game, but both should be very proud of themselves for stepping up and doing so well against tough and testing opposition.
Finally, and some would argue most importantly, Biggleswade finished ahead in the crucial competition of the day: drinking and singing!