Slideshow: National heartache for Welwyn girls

PUBLISHED: 19:06 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:23 26 October 2009

Welwyn jump for lineout ball

Welwyn jump for lineout ball

IT was National Cup Final heartache for the Welwyn-Basford U18 girls side on Sunday. They narrowly lost out to Worcester after being five minutes from lifting the trophy. The combined Welwyn-Basford team were leading 15-10 with just minutes left on the c

IT was National Cup Final heartache for the Welwyn-Basford U18 girls' side on Sunday.

They narrowly lost out to Worcester after being five minutes from lifting the trophy.

The combined Welwyn-Basford team were leading 15-10 with just minutes left on the clock.

However, an exceptional converted Worcester try denied the Times Territory team glory.

It was a truly pulsating National Cup clash at Lichfield on Sunday.

Worcester roared into an early 5-0 lead and then went very close again two minutes later.

Welwyn-Basford fought back and their forwards drove upfield steadily until Worcester finally cracked.

Skipper Natalie McClarnon scored to make it 5-5.

Back came Worcester for 10-5 and that was how it stayed until half-time.

The Welwyn-Basford coaches encouraged the girls for a second half display that was exceptional.

The tide was all flowing one way and another great forward drive saw Hannah Marques, playing the game of her life, score in the corner, making it 10-10.

Still the maroon hoops kept coming and Worcester were pinned in their own half for long periods.

Another great bout of forward pressure saw Springbok Frankie Dawson race clear to give the Herts and Essex team a crucial 15-10 lead with 15 minutes to play.

Worcester raised their game but the Welwyn defence held out until five minutes to go.

Worcester's exceptional centre then scored the match-winning try and snatched away the cup that was so tantalisingly close to the maroon hoops' grasp.

It was a try worthy of winning any match - a 50-yard run past several missed tackles and put down under the posts.

An easy conversion made the score 17-15.

The final whistle blew and the dream was over but in the years to come all the Welwyn-Basford players can look at their medal and remember with pride the match they took part in.

Team manager Dave Marques knew it was a case of so near, yet so far.

He said: "You know, for a while there I thought we'd actually done it.

"I think had we been playing any other team we would have, but Worcester have such a classy back division, you know one slip and they'll make you pay.

"That try was beautiful to watch though, as well as being painful."

Next weekend is the Regional 10s at Petersfield and the Welwyn side still have the unresolved matter of their crucial Wimborne league fixture to settle.

Coach Clive Cramphorn said: "There's still plenty to sort out in the next few weeks, but it was a real pleasure to be involved in a game like that.

"The true spirit of rugby shone through like a beacon and after the week we've just had, that was a real boost.


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