Sunday 21st November 2004
The day started cold, but thankfully dry for what promised to be an exciting display of rugby. Northallerton, Hampshire, Kent and Sussex turned up to an already buzzing Guilford Rugby Club. Between the four Counties, the tournament fielded an impressive 11 sides, special mention to Sussex for managing to field an A and B squad for both U14s and U17s.
Sussex U17 B squad kicked the tournament off with a full game against Kent U17 B squad, and this tightly contested game ended in a 10-all draw. Hopefully we’ll see some of these girls work they way in to the A-squad in next year’s tournament.
The U14s competed in a round robin tournament, each team getting four 20-minute games. The rugby was competitive and flowing, with some very impressive passages of play. Each team were playing to win, but the fair play on the pitches was notable. Despite a valiant effort by Surrey, their loss in their first game against Hampshire put them in second place behind the unbeaten Southerners. The full U14 results were as follows:
|Northallerton RUFC 0 – Hampshire 10
||Kent 0 – Sussex A 15
|Northallerton RUFC – Kent 0
||Hampshire 36 – Sussex B 0
|Northallerton RUFC – Sussex B 0
||Hampshire 7 – Sussex A 0
|Northallerton RUFC – Sussex A 0
||Kent 17 – Sussex B 0
|Sussex A 12 – Sussex B 0
||Hampshire 31 – Kent 0
2 Northallerton RUFC
3 Sussex A
5 Sussex B
The U17s competed in three 20-minute matches each, and the standard of rugby was impressive to say the least. There were no runaway wins, and the competition was fierce. Northallerton RUFC made the fatal mistake of under-estimating the Hampshire squad after their history of victories, and consequently Hampshire stepped up the pace, and secured a key victory over the hosts. The full U17 results were as follows:
Northallerton RUFC 12 – Kent 0
Hampshire 5 – Sussex 0
Northallerton RUFC 0 – Hampshire 8
Kent 10 – Sussex 0
Northallerton RUFC 12 – Sussex 0
Hampshire 5 – Kent 0
2 Northallerton RUFC
I would like to say thank you to all the Counties for making the effort to travel to Guildford for the day, and especially to the referees who gave up their time to officiate during the tournament.
Jo Martin – Northallerton Rugby
Sunday 31st October 2004
U14 Hampshire 29 Surrey 34
U17 Hampshire 0 Surrey 22
Having lost their last encounter with Hampshire by a frustrating 1 point (17/10/04), Northallerton U14s went out on to the pitch determined to come away with a win. But Hampshire was not going to lie down and let it happen. Northallerton looked strong, scoring in the second minute, but Hampshire came straight back within five minutes to level the score.
The lead then proceeded to change hands several times throughout the match. With some great displays of attacking runs, Northallerton looked to be the stronger side, but Hampshire’s determination combined with an uncertain defence, meant Hampshire stayed well and truly in the game. However, a final push from Northallerton ended the game Hampshire 29 – Surrey 34, a well-deserved and hard fought win.
A real team effort, but special mentions to Kay Wilson for her hat-trick of tries and brace of conversions, Lizzie Hearn for a pair of tries, and to Victoria Beynon for the final touch-down of the match.
Faye Barnes, Victoria Beynon, Katrina Boult, Colette Broome, Alex Chamberlain, Lara Fuchs, Rebecca Hassall, Lizzie Hearn, Emma Hiley, Ellen Hughes, Amy Irvine, Ellie MacWilliam, Alexandra Matthews, Rose Sargeant, Sophie Taylor, Katie Wallis, Kay Wilson
The Northallerton girls marched out of the dressing room and into perfect playing conditions; bright and surprisingly warm with little or no breeze, the going was good, only to find their opponents in a focused huddle on the half-way line.
From the off Surrey took the game to Hampshire, playing in their face and rucking like women possessed, this pressure soon began to tell as the Hampshire defence began to creak and small chinks in the line became apparent, with pressure came points. The most memorable of which, the third, came from deep in Surrey territory and slightly against the run of play at that point. The Surrey fullback, Stacey Hollier, gathered up the ball, looked up, chipped over the rushing Hampshire defence before re-gathering, and setting off apace down the field, by the time she had reached the half way she was in need of support, it came from her left in the shape of Tina Lee, the Surrey 10, who turned on the after-burners to gas round the Hampshire cover on her way to the try line. Tina dotted down right between the sticks enabling Stacey, to slot a relatively easy place kick for the extras. At the break after a couple more tries Surrey had amassed what would turn out to be an unassailable lead and went in ahead at 22-0.
The second half promised to be a cracker, and it didn’t disappoint. Hampshire, obviously received the right words of encouragement form their coaching staff, as they came out the stronger side, and all credit to them they threw everything at Surrey in the second period including the kitchen sink but some how Surrey held them out. To a woman the defence was inspired. Some of the attacking shape of the first half was lost as Surrey rang the changes, yet each and every player defended as if her life depended on it. Thanks must go to all involved on the pitch that day for creating some of the most entertaining and watchable rugby known to all mankind.
The try scorers were; Marie Thumwood, Rachel Thomas, Tina Lee and Claire Turner. Stacey Hollier also converted the third try. But special mention must go the Surrey women of the match, Tina for keeping the team going forward in attack and Fran Baker keeping them going forward in defence. Well done to one and all!
Emma Wells, Sophie Shorey, Vikki Huggett, Steph Giles, Sam Pidgeon, Jess Mossong, Fran Baker, Clare Turner, Tina Lee, Rachael Thomas ©, Hollie Blenman, Hannah Fyles, Kirsty Irvine, Louise Phuong, Rhiannon Edmunds, Katherine Smith, Highleah Lettman, Charlotte Irvine, Alice Davies, George Crabb, Lottie Brown, Marie Thurnwood, Leah Smith, Stacey Hollier, Davinia Monteiro