First cup win for Biggleswade Ladies!!11th November 2018
Towcester Roses 10 – 35 Biggleswade Ladies
Biggleswade Ladies did themselves proud in their first ever cup game on Sunday 28 October with a storming win away at Towcester.
The team were desperate to give a better account of themselves than they did in the previous week’s friendly against Chesham/Bletchley, and had worked hard at training to put right their errors.
Towcester didn’t make it easy, forcing Biggleswade to defend from the off, and pinning them back in their 22. Roses scored first from a penalty, but Biggy were much better organised in defence than in previous games, rolling left and right to keep a solid line, and pressing Towcester’s attack, forcing handling errors.
It was Biggleswade who got the first try: a well-executed pick and go from the back of the scrum by No 8 Amy Schiller, converted by captain and fly half Charlie Field.
Flanker Sarah Ashby flew down the pitch after a pop pass from the back of the scrum, dodging Towcester players and making huge yardage, only to “*BLEEP!* up the offload” (to paraphrase coach Jimmy Caulfield).
Roses built up some sustained pressure, but Biggy thwarted what looked like a certain try, defending valiantly from their own tryline, turning over the ball, and setting up a great counter-attack of their own. Biggleswade were now truly fired up and determined to take control of the game.
Winger Tash Cooper was unlucky not to score after a jinking run up the touchline, stopped by a tackle into touch 5m from the line.
Biggleswade increased the pressure in the second half, although it was Towcester who scored against the run of play with a breakaway try from a knock-on, taking the score to 10-7.
Biggleswade didn’t flinch, working hard to rip and turnover ball in the tackle, setting up forward pods, and linking well with the back line to work the ball away to space. Lineouts and scrums were solid, backs’ moves from training were beginning to flow, and there were several quick breakaways on both wings.
Biggy’s patience and hard work was rewarded by a second try from Amy, after another strong run from the back of a ruck.
Sophie Earls, slotting in at loosehead prop, put in another big performance, the highlight of which was something you don’t see very often – a No 1 sprinting three-quarters of the length of the pitch to score. She caught a Roses’ restart ball and ran like the wind through their team all the way to the tryline!
Holly Crawford, who started at 15 but was switched to No 9, gained yards after she picked and went from a scrum, but couldn’t break the Towcester tackle. Quick-thinking from Charlie saw her scoop up the ball, pin her ears back and run over the line to score Biggy’s fourth try, which she duly converted.
There was one more score to come, when Biggy forwards sucked in Towcester to the rucks then passed out to Amy, who looped round and ran in right under the posts for another try, completing a quality hat-trick. Charlie’s successful conversion made it an impressive 5 from 5 in windy conditions.
On any other occasion Amy (sponsored by CW Cakes) would have won Forward of the Match for a thunderous game including three great tries, but she was pipped at the post by Sophie Earls (sponsored by Biggleswade RUFC 3rd Team) for being the Fastest Scrum-Cap in the West. Rumours are that Sophie still hasn’t stopped running – and as this article went to press, reports were coming in of several sightings of her Forest Gumping through the Brecon Beacons.
Back of the match was Teri Taylor (sponsored by Royal Images), for a great performance at No 9, then No 12, her strong tackling typified when she stopped the signature Towcester tractor move several times.
STOP PRESS: The draw has already been made for Round 3 of the RFU Womens Junior Cup – and Biggleswade are at home to Royston Ladies on Sunday December 16. Come along and support the team in what should be a cracking local derby.
All photos: Carl Wolfenden