Bletchley Ladies triumphed over table-topping Birmingham Moseley in a narrow 27-25 victory on Sunday.
Bletchley took the opening kick, neatly taken by Moseley, who started to work back towards the Bletchley half. They took an opportunity to kick, attempting to gain some ground, but this was charged down. Moseley retained the ball on the rebound and continued to push up. A knock on from Bletchley helped their cause, though they still had to get out of their own half. Bletchley forced them to work across the pitch, then stole the ball from a ruck, passing out through the hands to Caroline Collie who put it down between the posts for Bletchley to take the first points, 3 minutes in. a clean kick from Taylor opened the score at 7-0.
The restart was stalled with a game of chase with a mini dog; once the game recommenced, Bletchley took possession and pushed up the pitch. A kick from Rachael Taylor was caught by Moseley and run into Bletchley territory. A penalty from Bletchley further helped their cause. Two further penalties brought Moseley to Bletchley’s line and took the ball through the posts, moving the score to 7-3
Moseley took the ball from the restart and, despite Bletchley’s best efforts, six minutes on saw them go ahead with a converted kick. However, Bletchley replied just minutes later with another try from Collie, to put the visitors back in front 12-10.
Moseley immediately fought back, moving up to Bletchley’s 5m line, then forcing another penalty to squeeze back in front; 13-12. A couple of minutes later Bletchley came back at them and moved in front again, this time courtesy of Taylor. Unfortunately, the ball rebounded off the posts, so no conversion but Bletchley were 17-13 ahead.
Play settled down for a while, moving between the sides, then in the closing minutes of the half Moseley took possession, passed along the line to an opening in the Bletchley defence and took the closing points of the half, 20-17.
Moseley opened the second half, but both teams were determined to be the next to score and play moved up and down the pitch, though mainly in the centre thirds for a good five minutes. Eventually Moseley won this battle of wills, taking an unconverted try 10 minutes into the second half, to widen the gap to 25-17.
Finally, Bletchley took control. With a much stronger pack, they kept rumbling the ball up, and eventually this paid off, with Collie grabbing an opening to put the ball down, closing the gap to just three points at 25-22.
However, Bletchley weren’t finished yet, despite having no subs due to injuries and colds. Moseley chased the ball well from the restart, but knocked on, giving Bletchley the scrum. They worked the ball out to Taylor, who made a break to Moseley’s 22. The ladies continued to rumble and worked up to within 10m, eventually tacking a tackle on touch, fortunately knocked out by Moseley, so Bletchley retained the honours at the line out. They continued their forward pressure, pushing hard. Moseley dug in and forced Bletchley back and forth along the try line; Bletchley had the bit between their teeth now, and were taking no prisoners, finally finding a small opening for Collie to put the ball down for her fourth try to move Bletchley back in front; 27-25, a narrow advantage they managed to hold on to to take victory.
The result sees Bletchley fourth in the Championship Midlands 2 standings, however Bletchley have games in hand on all of the teams above them.
Next week the ladies return to Manor Fields, hosting Wymondham Wasps Ladies, before returning to Birmingham Moseley the following week for the second round of the Intermediate Ladies Cup.