Bletchley Ladies were finally able to get their league season underway, but their local derby with Buckingham would end in 40-34 defeat.
After the disappointment of having their first two league matches rearranged with the opposition not having numbers, Bletchley finally opened their league battle on Sunday, against local rivals, Buckingham.
The game started well for Bletchley, with a try for Emily Castle after just three minutes of play. Six minutes later, Caroline Collie added to the score, taking Bletchley Ladies to 10-0.
Buckingham were not out of the match though, and they took their first points just five minutes later, despite strong defence from Bletchley on their line. this try was converted, unlike their second, three minutes later, moving the score line to 12-10. This was to set the theme for the match, with the advantage yo-yoing back and forth between the two teams.
From the restart, Bletchley pushed straight back at Buckingham, setting up a second try from Collie just two minutes later. This time the boot of Rachael Taylor made good; 17-12.
From the restart, it looked as though Collie was going to do an action replay, with a break through Buckingham’s line and five missed tackles, but Bletchley gave a penalty at the breakdown when she was finally caught, giving possession away. A second penalty as their opposition pushed into their 22 was played for advantage, but was taken back after an injury stop. Buckingham’s first attempt to put the ball down was held up, but they held their scrum, lost the ball briefly to Bletchley, but took it back from the ruck and scored; 19-17.
Buckingham took the ball from the restart, only to have it ripped in the ruck. Bletchley set up a drive and pushed up the pitched. Another ruck saw Buckingham regain possession, before another injury stop paused play for a few minutes. Buckingham wasted their advantage at the restart with a penalty in the scrum. Bletchley took a quick tap and pushed up to the 5m line. another penalty from Buckingham helped the ladies on their way, with Collie finishing a nice set piece with her third try; 22-19, finishing the first half with Bletchley ahead.
The second half showed both teams still in full fighting mode. Possession moved back and forth, with a camp out on the Buckingham line first, finally cleared with a kick to the halfway line. Buckingham continued to push, finally making a break to score between the posts. The conversion was a given from this position; 26-22.
Five minutes later, Bletchley replied with a try from Taylor; 27-26. A high tackle on Taylor as she put the ball down gave Bletchley a penalty restart.
From the restart, Taylor kicked to touch and Bletchley held their line out. They set up a maul, but lost the ball to Buckingham. Bletchley quickly regained possession, then gave two penalties to help Buckingham on their way up the pitch! Another converted try; 33-27.
And still the tries kept coming; Buckingham took just three minutes to gain their next move on the score sheet, again putting the ball down between the posts; 40-27.
As usual, the Bletchley Ladies weren’t ready to roll over yet; and Buckingham were just as determined to hold them out! It took another twelve minutes before Bletchley could fully break their defence, but eventually Collie took another, converted by Taylor; 40-34.
With just five minutes of play left, could they do it again? two injury stops paused progress, but the ladies worked their way up the pitch. Collie then made a break to the Buckingham 22. A penalty from Buckingham helped the cause. They moved up to 5m, only to be tackled out, giving Buckingham the lineout. Buckingham gave another penalty; Bletchley took a quick one, and Buckingham were not 10.
Another tap, then the ball passed out along the line; for a split second, it looked as though they were going to do it, then Buckingham forced a knock on and the final whistle went.
The Ladies are a friendly, welcoming squad who train at Manor Fields on a Wednesday night, 7.00 – 8.30pm. For further information, contact Sally Peters, firstname.lastname@example.org, or just turn up on Wednesday with your boots.