Sunday 10th November saw the Crimsons U18s welcome Dagenham RFC in Round 2 of the National Cup competition.
In Neil (Charlie Baker’s dad and Andy Baker’s brother) Baker we had a referee who let the game flow in a way that made it a great spectacle for the decent crowd who had gathered on the top pitch. Clearly other club members have heard what a talented group of girls we have!
We started the game well with a lovely, long-range try from Lara, but gradually allowed Dagenham’s strong ball carriers into the game and were out-muscled at the breakdown. Their strong/fast centre was causing havoc in the midfield and scored her own outstanding effort from around halfway!
Natalie then went over for a try, we conceded again, and then Lara got her second (thanks to a barnstorming run from Mouch), but we conceded again… 15-17 down at half time, we knew the game was there for the taking but we probably weren’t making the best decisions in terms of moving the ball away from their strong defenders. We were playing into their hands with a real arm wrestle of a game in which we’d essentially score/concede/score/concede etc for the duration of the match!
Early on in the second half, Maria scored with a nice finish – finding the try-line at the second time of asking in the game, and we retook the lead! A further score from Lara (hattrick) gave us a little bit of breathing space, although Dagenham did not give up, and came back with two tries of their own (one of which was converted).
Unfortunately, we lost Maria and Paulina to injuries and so were then one player down and 4 points behind! The girls really stood up to the test and with 2 minutes to go, Prosper sped down the wing with the winning score. As much as I’d have liked this to be the final play, there was time for the kick off and some resolute defending ensured we held out for the win.
There were some great lessons learnt in what was certainly our toughest game of the season so far. All the girls were outstanding in terms of commitment and a credit to the club.