Bletchley brush aside Birmingham to claim third spot

Bletchley claim the lineout
Bletchley claim the lineout

Bletchley Ladies climbed up to third in the table after a straight-forward 35-10 victory over Birmingham Mosely on Sunday.

Moseley opened play; Bletchley took the catch and ran at Moseley. After working the ball through the hands, Clare Stacey put in a run to move play further forward. A penalty stalled progress, with Moseley kicking to touch. Moseley secured their lineout, passed across the pitch, then were forced into touch. Moseley knocked the ball on in their attempt to steal possession, giving Bletchley a scrum. A strong push and they secured the ball; they worked it through the hands, with an occasional ruck, then misjudged with a forward pass giving Moseley a scrum in the middle of their territory. Moseley took full advantage and pushed play up into Bletchley’s half.

Betty Ssov

Betty Ssov

They continued to work the ball, moving up to Bletchley’s 5m line, before knocking on to give play back to their hosts. Bletchley secured their scrum, passed back and then put in a kick, only to have the ball kicked straight back. The ball bounced dead, giving a 22 drop out to Bletchley. A deep kick took play back into Moseley’s half. Moseley took the catch and ran back; Stacey stopped their progress by tackling them out. Bletchley took the line out, just in Moseley’s half, passed through the hands to Caroline Collie, who kicked it up the pitch. Moseley managed a few passes before knocking on, giving Bletchley another scrum. Liv Calloway picked from the back and ran up, passed out to Beth Metcalf who drove it forward.

A couple of rucks, then the ladies set up a maul, pushing play up to Moseley’s 22, before knocking on as they passed out from the back. Moseley knocked on picking up from the scrum, turning the honours to Bletchley for the put in; they passed the ball along the line, then Kass Carry drove up to the 5m line. Bletchley continued to pile on the pressure, forcing Moseley offside for a penalty. A quick tap, then a pop out to Betty Sůsová, our new player from the Czech Republic, gave Bletchley their first try. Rachael Taylor added the extras, giving an opening score of 7-0, 12 minutes into the game.

Five minutes later, another strong scrum from Bletchley on their own 5m line set up their next try. The ball passed back to collie, then on to Stacey, who ran the length of the pitch to put it down for the points. Collie added the conversion, to move the score to 14-0.

Moseley stepped up the pressure, and held out till the last play of the half. Moseley took a tap from a penalty given by Bletchley, after being offside at a ruck and passed along the line. They went to set up a ruck, but spilt the ball; a quick thinking Taylor picked it up before they could reset and made a break for the line. Moseley chased hard, but couldn’t catch her before she put it down. Collie had her kicking boots on and secured the extras: 21-0 going into half time.

Beth Metcalf scores for Bletchley

Beth Metcalf scores for Bletchley

Bletchley kicked to open play for the second half. Moseley caught on the bounce and worked through their phases, recycling the ball and moving forward. A missed pass and Hannah Prescott to drop on the ball and set up a ruck to get possession for Bletchley. A couple of passes, then Collie ran across the pitch, looking to break Moseley’s line. Finally she passed, then Moseley ripped the ball from a ruck and kicked to touch. Bletchley secured their lineout and set up a maul. Emma Lucey peeled off the back, then passed the ball on. A penalty from Bletchley at a ruck gave possession to Moseley, who kicked for a line out on Bletchley’s 22. Bletchley knocked on, giving another line out, then Moseley knocked on. Bletchley opted to take the scrum; Sůsová picked from the back and drove forward.

Bletchley worked forward, then Moseley pushed back. Play moved around the centre of the pitch for a bit, then Moseley worked forward. A penalty from Bletchley gave them the opening they had looked for; they kicked to touch, giving a line out on 5m. Bletchley took the line out, then dropped the ball, which Moseley quickly gathered up and set up a ruck. They continued to exert pressure on Bletchley’s line, forcing another penalty, and quick tap, and phases along the line finally found the gap in the corner for them to put their first points on the sheet; 21-5, with just 10 minutes gone.

Taylor kicked deep for the restart. Moseley misjudged the bounce and knocked on, giving Bletchley a scrum. A penalty from Moseley gave them a further advantage, but they were unable to capitalise on it. Having moved off with points, Moseley had the bit between their teeth and fought hard. Bletchley moved up for a bit, then gave a penalty. Moseley kicked down the pitch, giving them a lineout in Bletchley’s half. Bletchley gave a couple more penalties, then Moseley returned the favour with a high tackle. A second penalty took Bletchley into away territory, then Isla Peters drove forward and set another ruck, and another penalty from Moseley! Bletchley kicked to touch and a line out. They secured this, then popped the ball down to Rachael Appleby, who swung round the side of the line out and made a break.

Moseley caught her and she set up a ruck; the ball was passed to Sůsová who continued the progress. A forward pass slowed things, with a scrum for Moseley on their 22. They managed to gain some ground, before giving another penalty. The teams seemed determined to keep throwing possession away! Back and forth with penalties was not helping anyone. Finally Metcalf peeled off the back of a Bletchley maul, the ball was passed along the line before a tackle set up a ruck on Moseley’s 22. They recycled again, working through the phases till the ball found Sůsová who ran in a try between the posts. Taylor kicked clean; 28-5, and another 20 minutes on the clock.

Bletchley knocked on from the restart. Moseley took advantage, set up a ruck with the loose ball, passed back and kicked down the pitch. The teams chased up, the ball bounced over the try line Sůsová; Stacey tried to ground it but it bounced over her arms and Moseley grounded it before it bounced dead; 28-10.

Five minutes later, Bletchley took advantage of an unused maul from Moseley. They secured the scrum, passed through the hands, pushing forward all the time. Metcalf saw a gap in Moseley’s defence, dicked through it and put the ball down, just outside the posts. Taylor added her bit, giving a final score of 35-10, moving Bletchley to third place in the league.