Penalties put ladies through

Bletchley Ladies celebrate. Pic: Tom Blackman.
Bletchley Ladies celebrate. Pic: Tom Blackman.

Yolanda Potter kicked the decisive penalty to put Bletchley Ladies through to the semi-finals of the Junior Cup with a win over Canterbury.

The sides were inseparable after 80 minutes at Manor Fields, and after 10 minutes of extra time, before the game went to penalty kicks, with Potter putting the kick the final ball between the posts.

Kicking would prove to be the key element in the game, as from the off, both sides booted the ball back and forth amongst themselves, failing to make much ground at either end.

But Bletchley were able to make the first breakthrough when Beth Metcalf took a clean lineout catch from the lift, popping the ball down, where it was passed on to Lauren Delany.

She took it cleanly and powered towards the Canterbury line, putting it down between the posts.

Rachael Taylor made the conversion, giving Bletchley the opening score at 7-0.

Bletchley looked as though they were set to repeat this from the restart. Becky Woodgates took the catch and pushed towards the Canterbury half. Canterbury had other ideas, tackled Becky and stole the ball from the resulting ruck.

Canterbury were determined to keep the pressure on, took the catch and pushed back up the pitch. A couple of quick passes took the ball to the hands of their number 13, Layla Little, and she made a break for the Bletchley line.

Her pace proved too much for the home side, and Canterbury evened the scores with a clean conversion to level things at 7-7.

Despite fervent efforts from both teams, the second half saw no change in the score; after all, a place in the semi-finals was at stake! As the final whistle blew, the score sheet still had 7-7.

A further 10 minutes was played, to try and separate the teams, to no avail.

So the match went to penalties. With the opening five kicks missing, Potter slotted hers between the posts to book a semi-final place.