Welwyn rugby girls tame the Bulls
PUBLISHED: 16:35 12 October 2012
WELWYN U18 Girls won their opening league match of the season 29-20 against Aylesford Bulls in a highly-charged and competitive fixture that lived up to expectations.
Aylesford put Welwyn under pressure immediately from the kick-off, pinning the Hobbs Way girls back into their 10 metre area for several minutes.
Then a turnover found its way to Lucy Andrews who stormed her way down the left wing to within 10 metres of the opposition try line.
Full-back Beth Summerfield had kept in touch throughout and Lucy passed out to her as she was tackled to give Beth an easy first league try.
Lotte Clapp scored the first of a trio of breakaway tries after some lovely movement out of the scrum which allowed centre Catrin Bowser to break the gain line before popping up to Lotte who ran through to score unopposed.
Following this Welwyn came under real pressure from the Aylesford forwards, forcing a succession of penalties for not releasing and pressing Welwyn back into their 10 metre area.
Eventually this pressure was made to count as one of the Aylesford forwards rolled around to score.
With only a few minutes of the first half remaining Lotte scored again, picking up loose ball at the Welwyn 22, threading her way past a couple of defenders to run through for her second try.
This was converted by Abbie Maxwell. At half-time Welwyn had a strong 17-5 lead.
Shortly into the second half Welwyn gave themselves a healthy cushion with a well-worked try by the backs. The ball went from fly-half Olivia Stembridge to Lotte and then Catrin before releasing Stevie Farrow to finish it off.
Aylesford never stopped putting Welwyn under pressure with the forwards especially having to work really hard.
The mid point of the second half almost proved a turning point when in quick succession Welwyn lost props Vicci Cogger (whose workrate had been phenomenal) to a nasty ankle sprain and Abbie to a shoulder injury from a heavy tackle, and then second row Megan Smith.
With the departure of the experienced Welwyn props the scrums went uncontested. Aylesford were able to put Welwyn under even greater pressure – and this time they managed to execute in a way they had failed to in the first half.
They ran in three largely unopposed tries in quick order, punctuated by one more breakaway movement by Lotte, which secured the bonus point for the fifth try and gave Welwyn reasonable assurance of the win.
Aylesford are a well-drilled side and were always going to provide stiff opposition and proved a tough introduction for the new girls who have moved up from U15s.
Though Welwyn created several tries out of nothing, they had also offered up to their opponents plenty of opportunities, which they failed to take in the same way and so it was Welwyn who took maximum points.