Bristol return to winning ways and secure their place in the Women’s Premiership Shield Final.
Trowbridge RFC hosted the first game of 2016 for Bristol Ladies today in semi-final of the Shield Playoffs. Bristol finished 5th in the Premiership, meaning they faced Aylesford Bulls, who finished in 8th position this season. The winner secures their place in the Premiership next season and a chance at the Shield, whilst the loser faces a battle to avoid relegation.
Both teams came out fighting, with a few big hits in the first few minutes from both sides. Once the game settled Bristol were playing some expansive and exciting rugby. A catch and drive line out was fed out to the wings, with Katie Mason showing off some great footwork – only for the ref to blow up for offside. The pressure continued to build, with the ball eventually finding its way to Sydney Gregson who dotted it down over the line.
Seven minutes later Aylesford got their first score of the afternoon after a period of sustained pressure in the Bristol 22. Taylor Kinsey found a gap through, and converted her own score taking the score to 5 – 7.
Daisy Travers was the recipient of a great offload and took advantage of an overlap to put Bristol back in lead with Lucy Demaine adding the conversion.
Half time – Bristol 12 (2 tries, 1 conv) – 7 Aylesford Bulls (1 try, 1 conv)
Bristol started the second half with a yellow card, when Poppy Leitch infringed at the breakdown after a team warning previously from the referee.
A minute after Poppy returned to the field, Bristol showed their dominance as Gregson got her second try of the afternoon.
Ten minutes before the end Aylesford received a yellow card of their own, which paved the way for Katie Mason to score for Bristol. With encouragement from the Bristol support, Mason showed her pace and strength as she powered through the Bulls defence and scored right under the posts. Lucy Demaine converted, taking the score to 24 – 7.
Aylesford kept fighting to the end, and managed to score through Catherine Spencer, who found a gap in the Bristol line to end the game with a score line of 24 – 14.
Final score – Bristol 24 (4 tries, 2 conv) – 14 (2 tries, 2 conv) Aylesford Bulls
Bristol gave a huge thank you Trowbridge RFC for hosting them today, and to the selection of U15 and U18 girls from Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset who were water girls and ball girls today. They also thanked Steve Arnold who filmed the game for them and to Rob Holman and Pete Reakes for the game day management.
Forward of the game: Sarah Hunter
Back of the game: Sydney Gregson
Voted for by the players
After the match LJ Adams (Head Coach) said: “Over the last few fixtures we’ve put in some good performances, but we hadn’t found that trigger to convert it into the results we wanted – but today that changed. It was a physical game, and Aylesford really stepped up – they were at 100% and really wanted to play at pace. We played well today, with quite a few players out of position – so it was a credit to the team who adapted well to the changes.
Next week is a chance for this squad to show what they can do – we’ve been given the opportunity to go out and win and end the season on a high, and I really believe that this squad and the talent we have can go out and achieve this. We’ll work on our attack this week, looking to be more clinical in our game, and take this performance to the next level.”
Bristol Ladies: Katy Mason, Sue Newman, Sydney Gregson, Jade Shelkes, Daisy Travers, Lucy Demaine, Chantelle Miell, Katherine Buggy, Clara Neilson, Abbie Parsons, Kayleigh Armstrong, Amelia Buckland Hurry, Kate Newman, Poppy Leitch, Sarah Hunter
Replacements: Natalie Lewis, Trish Brown, Becky Belcher, Izzy Moore
Aylesford Ladies: Ashleigh Greenslade, Georgia Gray, Sarah Riordan, Kate Hancock, Miriam Taylor, Taylor Kinsey, Sinead Byrne, Rebecca Goodwin Schorah, Jen Vik, Carola Owla, Jennie Eyre, Laura Tolley, Kelly Davis, Elizabeth Philp, Catherine Spence
Replacements: Catherine Gent, Michelle Mayhew, Hannah Sweatman, Katy Dootson, Amy McCarthy, Marta Farda
7 mins – TRY – Bristol – Sydney Gregson, 5 – 0
14 mins – TRY – Aylesford Bulls – Taylor Kinsey, 5 – 5
15 mins – CONV – Aylesford Bulls – Taylor Kinsey, 5 – 7
26 mins – TRY – Bristol – Daisy Travers – 10 – 7
27 mins – CONV – Bristol – Lucy Demaine – 12 – 7
43 mins – YELLOW – Bristol – Poppy Leitch
55 mins – TRY – Bristol – Gregson – 17- 7
68 mins – YELLOW – Aylesford Bulls – Georgia Gray
70 mins – TRY- Bristol – Katie Mason – 22 – 7
71 mins – CONV – Bristol – Lucy Deamine – 24 – 7
75 mins – TRY – Aylesford Bulls – Catherine Spencer – 24 – 12
76 mins – CONV – Aylesford Bulls – Kinsey – 24 -14
Above photo of Daisy Travers by Rikki Teml (RMT Photography)
Report courtesy of Bristol Ladies RFC
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