Here it is ladies, yesterday's match report.
Barnes Ladies 29 – 41 Tonbridge Juddians
Ah, match day! It was the best of times (the sun shone, we had brand new shower cubicles, I had shiny new boots…), it was the worst of times (engineering works on the line, the ref was American, we lost).
Nevertheless, this unseasonably warm Sunday fixture had a nice feel to it.
Before we go any further, I would like to extend my apologies to the group of (ahem) ‘sporty’ looking girls walking innocently down Queen Elizabeth Walk, whom I decided must be the opposition team. On trying to steer this confused flock of ‘sporty’ looking girls towards the rugby pitch a la ‘Babe’, it became clear they weren’t the opposition. Merely a group football girls (mmm-hmmm…). I’m afraid the horror of being humiliated in front of two Barnes newbies meant I missed a golden recruitment opportunity. Sorry Captain.
And so! Off to our new changing rooms we trundled, pondering how hungover said Captain would be given that she updated her Facebook Status a mere 7 hours earlier (the time at this point being 1pm, for context). And so, in we walked, to find our great talis(wo)man curled up on the bench, perishing slowly like one of those fishes you see in dried up lakes on nature documentaries. Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind – but sadly euthanasia isn’t an option when you’re already a player short.
Anyway, with Tonbridge matching our 14, Barnes kicked off and were immediately on the attack. Within 4 minutes, Barnes turned the ball over, releasing this season’s star signing Emily on the wing, tearing through for her first try of the match. A cracking start to the game. 5-0 to the home side. Play resumed with Tonbridge keen to recompense, and a series of strong driving mauls gained them valuable metres. Lorraine kicked well under pressure, to give Barnes some valuable breathing space. Credit also to the Barnes forwards, who all got stuck in to some knackering mauls. Corry and Rachel in particular, who set them up and held onto the ball – not giving up. Twice in the space of five minutes Barnes found themselves defending their tryline, and although Tonbridge made it over the line on their second attempt – the ball was superbly held up by a gaggle of green and gold forwards: No try!
Tonbridge however, persevered – and took play to the right of the pitch, where they successfully punched a hole through the Barnes defence. Score – 5-7. Game on!
Play resumed, and several tries followed by both teams. We witnessed some great passing between Lucy, Lorraine, Dibs, Fran and Laura and it wasn’t long before Fran B was released like a whippet out the traps and soared over the line over for an excellent try, deftly converted by flanker Claire. It was tit-for-tat after that, until Dibs spotted a gap right in the middle of the field and tore through like lightning for a textbook touchdown. It was a great piece of play, and Barnes entered half time several points ahead of Tonbridge.
Second half then, and yankee doodle ref did his thang, horsing round the pitch blowing up for all sorts of naughties. Mainly forward passes, hands-in-rucks, and not using the ball in the mauls. But to give him his dues, he kept order well in this wholly good-natured game. Further tries came from Em and Fran, further conversions soared nicely over the sticks thanks to Claire ‘Halfpenny’, and several more tries drizzled in from Tonbridge. In the end, Tonbridge had the edge towards the end, exploiting the wing just a little faster than we could keep up with. But a draw would have better reflected the game (We would say that, obvs).
Anyway, massive thanks to Tonbridge who genuinely seem to be one of the nicest teams we’ve played. Back of the match, Fran B – for just being so frickin’ fast and so frickin’ awesome. All of the backs had an awesome game. How I wish I could run (like that *sigh*). Forward of the match went to Zara, who not only survived her first ever Barnes match, but put in some stonking hard tackles. Well played!
Onwards we march then, to Trojans next Sunday. We’ve come a long way since the last time we played them, and we just need to remember – the bigger they are – the harder they fall. Especially their earthquake-inducing no.24. I’m not available to play on Sunday btw, but figured I’d leave you all with some words of encouragement. Go me! *runs off*