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  • Possession and pressure not enough for Biggy Ladies

    Biggleswade Ladies 5-8 Fullerians Ladies
    A last ditch try from the opposition in the dying minutes of the game saw Biggleswade Ladies lose out at home on Sunday.
    It was a crushingly disappointing end to a match Biggy dominated in terms of both possession and territory and in which they had created numerous chances.
    For the first 40 minutes, Biggy were encamped in Fuller’s half, mostly in their 22, with some great possession rugby from the Biggy players.
    The ball only crossed into Biggleswade’s side of the pitch three times in the entire first half, once from the kick-off and twice from two up-and-over kicks. On each occasion, full back Anna Kolańczyk calmly scooped up the bouncing ball and charged back into Fullers territory, allowing Biggleswade to pile drive forward once more.
    Beverley Horsefield, who took over as Captain for the day, led by example with some proper Northern steel in the rucks. Props Leigh Frost and Drea Lee and lock Claire Watson also set the tone for the forwards with some great carries. Sarah Ashby, putting in a huge performance playing No 8 instead of flanker, earned herself a new nickname of ‘Angry Ashby’ for the fierceness and strength of her tackling and charges.
    Photo credit: David Kay
    Biggy were using the whole width of the pitch, working it wide to suck Fullers players in, and setting up the backs to pass it back into space. But it was one of those days when small handling errors proved the team’s downfall – a missed pass here and a knock-on there proved frustrating for team and spectators alike.
    Fullers were having to work incredibly hard in defence. When they did get the ball, their attacks were snuffed out quickly – their best gain line break was stopped by Sarah and Kayleigh with two great tackles in quick succession.  Fullers still hadn’t crossed the half-way line, and the 0-0 scoreline was a poor reflection of just how much Biggleswade were on top.
    The second half proved equally frustrating for Biggy. The author of this report went to get a beer to ‘make something happen on the scoreboard’. Unfortunately Fullers worked their way forward and earned themselves a penalty for offside right under the posts, which was duly converted, and put them 3 points ahead. So much for the genius beer plan.
    Biggleswade lost their trusty No 9 Teri Taylor to injury (a broken collarbone), and Vicki Marshall took over the scrum-halfing duties.
    Charlie Field, back at fly-half, made a huge tackle count, utilising her trademark ‘hit ‘em and leg drive like mad’ technique, obviously having one of her ‘forward trapped in a back’s body’ kind of days.  She made some great kicks for Kayleigh to chase up with her blistering speed, but the luck of the bounce didn’t favour her.
    Biggleswade finally got the score they so richly deserved midway through the second half. Another brilliant pick-up from Anna saw her go on a strong run down the wing, shrugging off tackles with some great handoff work at speed. Fullers, who had been forced to make a number of try-saving tackles, nearly did it again when they brought her down just short of the line. This time, however, Anna was able to offload to Chloe, who’d covered a huge amount of ground to make a great support run. Chloe raced on and grounded the ball  in the corner to put Biggleswade ahead 5-3.
    photo credit: David Kay
    With such a narrow points margin, the result was always going to be on a knife edge.
    Winger Penny George made two big hits in a row to prevent a break, and Angry Ashby executed a perfect lift tackle that the recipient may still be breathless frome
    There was only one more score to come. With just three minutes to go, Fullers gained possession and got the ball out to their back Jess Davies. In a piece of great individual skill and strong running (and on a day when very few tackles had been missed) she evaded Biggy’s defence to burst through and score, to steal the game at the death.
    Fullerians were jubilant, the result giving them a real high to end their season on. They had worked extremely hard for the win, and Biggleswade, hugely disappointed by the scoreline, showed their opponents great respect, congratulating them in what was a tough game to walk away from in defeat.
    Biggy now have to pick themselves up and prepare for their final league game away against Bishops Stortford on April 7, where they will be vying for second place in the league.
    Final score Biggleswade Ladies 5-8 Fullerians Ladies
    – Forward of the Match was Sarah Ashby (sponsored by HomeCare Solutions) for a bruising, brash, and ‘thank God she’s on our side not theirs’ kind of performance.
    – Back of the Match was Charlie Field (sponsored by L.F. Jarvis & Son Ltd) for an astronomical tackle count and some great kicking.
    Special mentions also go to Vicki Marshall for starting at 10 for the first time, and then moving to take over at 9, and to Anna Kolańczyk for a brilliant showing at full back.
    featured photo credit: Carl Wolfenden