Kesteven Ladies play second match
Kesteven Ladies 15
Long Eaton Ladies 24
Kesteven Ladies team played their second ever match on Sunday against a Long Eaton side playing together for the first time.
Long Eaton travelled with 13 players and were welcomed by the Grantham-based squad of 26 all kitted out in the usual black shirts befitting their nickname of the Black Army. The sidelines were packed with a couple of hundred supporters eagerly anticipating a competitive fixture.
It was clear from the outset that Long Eaton’s side contained a number of experienced and strong players and the first quarter saw the visitors dominate possession and run in the first try of the match which was converted.
Kesteven competed hard at the scrum, and more than held their own, but a couple of stray passes saw Long Eaton scoop up the stray ball and sprint over for a second score and a conversion, despite the best efforts of centre Tamzin Keelyside whose tackling and all-round efforts throughout would bring her the player-of-the-match award.
Heads however remained high and the home side picked up the tempo and threatened the try line with a series of strong runs, culminating in Jade Sheardown going within millimetres of scoring a well-deserved try.
The resulting turnover of possession saw Long Eaton complete a length of the pitch move which saw the home side looking at a 19-0 deficit as they entered half time.
Clearly the break did the home side some good as a Kesteven upped their efforts and started to play. Skipper Sarah Jane Goss, leading from the front, drove the forwards on and Kesteven started making some real ground urged on by their scrum half Kerri Arlando.
Kesteven’s back line now started to move the ball with Ami Boneham, playing at fly half, pulling the strings and making a series of excellent passes into space, culminating in a score for Hannah Dolby.
Further pressure mounted and Hannah, moments later, sneaked over for her second try following excellent distribution from Catherine Dickenson.
By now, the Black Army was really growing in confidence and the sidelines erupted with joy as winger Jo Arden crashed over for a score to bring the home side to within one score of a victory.
Both sides strained every sinew in search of victory and Long Eaton had one final score left in them to claim a well-deserved win.
The final whistle saw the usual coming together of both sides to show their mutual respect to their opponents and to celebrate a wonderful exhibition of Ladies Rugby.
Kesteven Ladies gained huge experience from the occasion as they prepare for their next game on Saturday as they travel with the men’s first XV to take on Belper.
+ Kesteven Ladies train on a Monday evening between 7-8.30pm at Woodnook. New players always welcome to join the fun.
Kesteven's Hannah Dolby takes a tackle, supported by Sarah Jane Goss and Kerri Arlando.
More by this authorJohn Burgess