Beaten but not disheartened as Welwyn girls pave the way for a very rosy future
PUBLISHED: 09:25 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:58 14 May 2019
They returned on the back end of a narrow defeat in the National Cup but the future of Welwyn Rugby Club's girls looks very rosy indeed.
The Hobbs Way club's U15 side were playing Barkers Butts at the Sixways home of Worcester Warriors and it was the Coventry side that just shaded the second half to win 20-12.
However, the performance from the young squad, many of whom will remain in the age group next year, gives cause for real optimism.
Head coach Vince Staniforth said: "Full credit to both teams, the game was played with great spirit.
"It was also interesting to see that the ball was not kicked from hand by either team, a great day for running rugby.
"And with 19 of the Welwyn squad remaining in the U15s, it could be that they get their chance again next year."
There were few signs of nerves from the Welwyn side towards their surroundings at the Gallagher Premiership venue or their illustrious opponents.
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And they made a good start putting Barkers under pressure. However, possession slowly started to shift and Barkers began to dominate and spent a lot of time in Welwyn's 22.
And after a number of assaults were repelled from the Welwyn try-line, the barrage finally found a chink in the armour and it brought a converted try.
But it was only a minor blip for Welwyn as they hit straight back with a try of their own, Maggie Bristow producing a lovely step inside to beat the last defender.
Barker's pack used their weight to full effect as they cancelled that out but by half-time the sides were level at 12-12.
A sloppy pass was snapped up by Millie Hare and she lit the afterburners to scorch under the posts.
Georgia-Leigh-Childs Cartwright added the conversion.
The second half remained even until the final 20 minutes when Barkers bagged a try. and kicked a penalty.
Welwyn still had chances but couldn't break through. However, the experience will be remembered and may only just be the start of a glittering rugby career.
Welwyn: Abbie Ambrose, Sophia Botterman, Maggie Bristow, Talleigh Burden, Georgia-Leigh-Childs Cartwright , Ruby Chesterman-Smith, Katherine Drage, Talia Edizer, Clare Feeney, Millie Hare, Charlotte Lawrence, Holly Maranzana, Darcy Miller, Abi Nicol, Natalie Randall, Madeline Robb, Tia Stevens, Megan Turpin, Yusra Waggie, Jessica Walker, Grace Webster, Lucy Wright, Emily Hughes, Madison Livermore, Emily Saunders