Bletchley Ladies’ remarkable undefeated streak continued on Sunday as they sailed past Wellingborough 36-0.
Having lost just one in nearly 18 months, Bletchley are being pushed in the league by neighbours and next week’s opponents Olney.
Bletchley won the toss and opted to take the opening kick. Wellingborough knocked on, giving Bletchley the scrum. They pushed up, taking advantage of an early penalty to move up the pitch. Having moved within spitting distance of the line, the ladies knocked on as they passed along the line. Wellingborough took the scrum, passed the ball back then booted it over the opposition’s heads and down the pitch. Before making touch, the ball bounced off a Bletchley player, giving Wellingborough the lineout. Having won the line out, Wellingborough then knocked on, giving the ball back to the home team.
The ladies immediately pushed back up the pitch, only to give a penalty to allow Wellingborough to kick the ball back into their half. The visitors pushed up to Bletchley’s 22, Bletchley took possession, then Wellingborough took it back. After a few more exchanges, Wellingborough set up a maul which Bletchley held, to take the honours at the scrum. Emma Taylor picked up from the back and made a break down the pitch. She got to within 10m of the line before Wellingborough managed to stop her. The ball was popped out to Bex Driscoll who pushed through the opposition and set up a ruck within metres of the line. Bletchley passed the ball through the hands; it found Jodie Denton who put it down over the line to take the opening points, 15 minutes into the game to lead 5-0.
Five minutes later, Jennie Davies made another break for Bletchley and put the ball down between the posts. A clean kick from Rachael Taylor took the score to 12–0.
Despite the score line, it looked as though this could prove to be another close match, with Wellingborough digging in. Play kept being taken back to the middle of the pitch, with neither side managing to take control of the game. The half time whistle saw no change in the score.
The second half opened with a Wellingborough kick. Bletchley took the catch, then passed through the hands. A knock on at the ruck gave Wellingborough the scrum, just in the Bletchley half. They retained possession and pushed up. Bletchley helped them further by conceding a penalty for hands in the ruck. They took a quick tap, only to have the ball stolen back by Bletchley. The bulldogs pushed up to 40m, passing along the line.
A high tackle from Wellingborough gave Rachael Taylor the chance to kick for touch, giving Bletchley the line out, just 5m from the line. The ladies drove forward, then had another penalty awarded in their favour. Emma Taylor took a quick tap then was tackled out to give Wellingborough the line out. They tried a kick over which was blocked by Liv Calloway. Bletchley took the ball back, pushed up and passed along the line, back to Liv Calloway who put it down to take the score to 17–0, five minutes into the second half.
The scene was now set. Despite a strong push from the off, Bletchley held their line. They gave a penalty 10m out from their line, but quickly stole the ball back, passed out to Rachael Taylor who made a break, tore down the pitch and put the ball down to further open the gap. Her boot was on target, taking the score to 24–0.
Wellingborough tried to move up a gear; they upped their defence and managed to hold Bletchley out for nearly quarter of an hour. Unfortunately for them, the Bletchley ladies were now on a roll and there was no stopping them. Jennie Davies made a break to within 5m of the line. The ball moved through a few phases, Wellingborough gave a penalty, Emma Taylor took a quick tap, dodged through the Wellingborough ladies, who hadn’t managed to retreat in time, and put it down over the line. Her sister completed the move with her boot, moving things up to 29–0. The Bletchley Ladies had now secured their bonus point with five tries.
Ten minutes later Emma did it again, giving a final score of 36–0 to Bletchley Ladies.
Next week Bletchley travel up the road to Olney, their closest rivals in the league; they will be hoping for a repeat of Sunday’s performance. They return to Manor Fields the following week, for the quarter finals of the Women’s Junior cup, where they host visitors Canterbury.