Source: British Army

Army women’s stalwart bows out on a high

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Old Albanians Saints 5 – 36 Army Women

Maj Gemma Simister RE playing her final game for this season led an Army squad with a good mixture of Senior and Development players.

After some solid performances by both the Army Women’s Senior & Development XVs this season the Georgie Memorial fixture is always a nice distraction from Inter Services preparation. With rolling replacements the Army played with a good blend of experienced and new players giving everyone an opportunity to have a run out.

With the Squad meeting up on match day the error count in the first 10 minutes did not make good reading; everyone wanting the ball or to make the tackle, this was in complete contrast to previous displays. OA Saints could have been up by 5 points in the first couple of minutes with a kick through almost catching the Army back 3 sleeping.

The Army kicked into gear on about the 15 minute mark, running the ball out of their own half; winger Gnr Jess McAuley RA made a break down the right flank and with great support from the forwards the Army passed out of contact and Lt Erica (Kiwi) Mills RA crossed the line. This was just what was needed and the Army upped their game, started attacking effectively and free from error. OA Saints did not take a backward step in defence; making the Army work for every yard.

Sgt Amy Robinson AGC (RMP) pulled the strings at first receiver opening the door and O/Cdt Lou Dodds RLC, who picked a great line to cut through the Saints defence and score. With rolling replacements the Army kept the pressure and scored twice more before half time.

Both teams made more changes; the second half started with both teams working tirelessly in defence; this was not the friendly run out that some might have expected. Sgt Rosie Haigh REME and Cpl Jane Leonard RE having to leave the field needing medical treatment for head injuries; unfortunately Rosie could not return.

The Army punched up the park with good phase play mixing forwards and backs; Cpl Lou Steer RLC finished from all of 3 yards for a great team try. With time pushing on and the players tiring, the gaps began to open and LCpl Nicole Bradshaw cut through the 12/13 channel to score her first try in an Army shirt.

36 – 0 with 5 minutes on the clock, who would have blamed the Saints if they had raised the white flag; but this is a team undefeated in their league this season. They were going to pushed on to the final whistle and it was the Saints who had the final say. A great break and a 40 yard sprint to the corner by the Saints centre ensured they got on the score sheet; 5 – 36 it finished.

Alongside Gemma in the 2nd Row LCpl Demi Graham R Sigs was playing her final game in a red shirt and another player running out for her final game for now was O/Cdt Lou Dodds RLC. Demi is leaving the Army and we wish her well and thank her for what she brought to the Squad, Lou will be enlisting into the regular Army later in the year; a player with great potential and a desire for more caps.

With the Wasps game now cancelled next week the Army squad play Aylesford at the Army Rugby Stadium on 18 April before hosting the RAF in Aldershot and the Navy at Kneller Hall in the Inter-services Competition.