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Quins Ladies Lose Battle of the New Year

By Ros Holder
January 17 2007

The first league game of the year was always going to be a difficult challenge. With the friendly the week before being cancelled due to waterlogged pitches the game against Blackheath proved to be all that and more. Quins started the first half receiving, within the first minute Blackheath had given away a penalty for not releasing on a tackle. Shortly after Blackheath gave away a further 2 penalties and were slowly being pushed into their defending half. Nat Smith got hold of the ball and ran through several Blackheath players. She managed to pass it to Amy Gibbons who then kicked the ball into our attacking half. A line out was given but was lost by Quins. Blackheath retained the ball and kept passing it, but the Quins defence were strong enough to keep tackling the players down. Blackheath switched play to go in the opposite direction of the field, and Quins failed to make the most of a dropped ball by Blackheath. Blackheath got a penalty for Quins bridging in a ruck, and decided from this to try and get a penalty goal. They missed the kick and after a moment of madness from Quins they got a scrum on the 5 yard line. After repeated attempts to drive over the line Quins were finally defeated and Blackheath scored a try.

Shortly after the restart, with Quins kicking, a penalty was given away by Blackheath, for not releasing the ball. The ball was kicked out to touch for a line out. Off the back of the line out Amy Gibbons kicked the ball into open space and Ellie Saunders scored a try. The conversion was missed but Quins were now back in the game.

A high tackle by Nat Smith saw a penalty given to Blackheath which they failed to take advantage of. After a line out Blackheath tried to break away round the back of the line out. Quins closed down quickly. Blackheath tried to pass the ball, but failed to make the complete pass as Ellie Saunders intercepted the pass and ran three quarters of the pitch to score another try.

Alex Leigh made 2 good tackles one straight after another, from which a ruck formed. Unfortunately a penalty against Quins stopped the flow of play. Play switched to the opposing end of the field, which saw Blackheath almost score before half time. A big push by Quins saw Blackheath being held up in the scrum and they failed to score anymore points in the first half.

The start of the 2nd half saw Quins Kick off with Claire Tirebuck and Kyra Howell chasing. A rolling maul formed by Blackheath saw Quins being pushed down a third of the pitch. Blackheath almost scored from a kick but no one was quick enough to get to the ball so it went over the dead ball line. After this Quins gave away another penalty and Blackheath’s obviously experienced forwards gave another big push. Blackheath sucked in the Quins players, and had an overlap of 3 players out wide. By exposing the gap in the Quins defence Blackheath managed to score a try to make the game all square at 10 – 10. After a line out only minutes later Blackheath scored again but missed the conversion. After a penalty against Quins for going round the wrong side of a tackle, Alex Leigh came of injured to be replaced by Katie Smith. Quins nearly managed to break though after a scrum but the ball was dropped. Blackheath were still piling on the pressure in Quins’ 22 and after a scrum on the 5 metre line Blackheath again managed to score another try. Shortly after the restart Blackheath scored another try. Quins did not give up. In the last few minutes of the game, Karen Cardy made a tackle that prevented the Blackheath number 6 breaking free. Shortly after Blackheath again drew the Quins players into a maul and again exposed an overlap. The defence quickly noticed this and re-organised themselves to stop Blackheath from getting through. It was a tough game for all with the weight and experience of the Blackheath forwards showing. Quins lost to a better team but have a lot to be proud of.

Bitter & Twisted? Proud supporters of Harlequin Ladies Rugby! Bottled Bitter & Twisted is available to order online from Beers of Europe Ltd as are Harviestoun’s beers. Bitter & Twisted is available at larger Sainsbury’s stores and all good retailers.

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