Monday, November 19, 2012

Herts U18s draw with Kent

In the second of the county friendly matches in the run-up to the London and South East county festival Hertfordshire U18 Girls drew 12 – 12 with Kent U18s in an absorbing fixture at Old Albanians RFC on Sunday.
The match started late after Kent had managed to sink their original coach in the field at Aylesford, not having sufficient space to turn around in the car park, and so had to wait for replacement transport to turn up. Despite the difficult start off the field, Kent took the lead in the match after barely three minutes. They turned over Herts around ten metres out and moved the ball across rapidly to give an overlap for an easy way in.
Herts fought back immediately and in the twelfth minute Saracen’s Marie Beaufils made a strong run from the Kent 22, fending off one back before being pulled down just short of the line. Welwyn flanker Harriet Austin was right on her shoulder and the ball was popped up to give her an easy try.

The next ten minutes saw a tense stand-off in the middle of the field, as the two packs got to grip with each other, with a growing sense that the next score could be decisive. The deadlock was broken when Welwyn centre Stevie Farrow found a great line through Kent’s defence to run in from their 22-metre line. She topped this with her own conversion.

Once they got going Herts began to dominate their counterparts and had the advantage in the first half. At half time several changes were made to give all players game time, and to help the Herts coaches to assess all members of the squad for selection for the upcoming festival. This seemed to have a profound impact. Immediately from the restart Herts were on the back foot and spent several minutes with Kent pounding them around the 5-metre area, with the ball held up twice in the try area. Eventually the pressure told and after a penalty Kent shipped the ball out wide to give Kent the equalising score.

The two teams were very evenly matched in all aspects of the game, with Kent perhaps looking the more threatening in the second half. Nonetheless it was remarkable, given the talent and commitment being shown, that there were no further scores over the next twenty-five tense minutes.

This was a match which Bob Dawson, Herts backs coach, thought that Herts certainly could have, and probably should have, won. Commenting after the match he said, “While there was some great defensive tackling, Herts failed to play the game at sufficient pace and with variety in order to make their opponents have to think. Against such a tough opposition, as expected, this was a positive performance and with the first half in mind, bodes well for the festival coming up.”

Herts team: Harriet Austin, Marie Beaufils, Catrin Bowser, Lotte Clapp, Katy Cook, Elizabeth Crake, Emily Davis, Hayley Everett, Stevie Farrow, Melissa Gargaro, Ellie Hurer, Florence Jones, Hannah Jones, Rosie Kay, Abbie Maxwell, Corinne McDonough, Pat Metcalfe-Jones, Sidney Nurthen, Bryony Pomfret, Megan Smith, Olivia Stembridge, Aleah Townsend, Katy Walker.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did Herts Women get on v kent