Sun 14 Jan 2018
Sunday the 14th of January saw Devizes Ladies travel to local team Chipping Sodbury with a new look side, and a spring in their step ready to take on the second half of the season. A cold and sticky pitch welcomed the squad on their arrival
Chipping Sodbury were short on numbers so the game started with 13 a side. Devizes quickly got into their stride from the first whistle and laid down a statement of intent with strong carries from forwards and backs resulting in Danielle Allinson crossing for the first of her 4 tries on her return to the team. Denise Warbutton added the extras.
Rather than rest on their laurels, Captain Alice Bowerbank had the team back focussed and ready to receive the kick off and run the ball back at their opposition straight away.
It was clear that the side had worked out where the spaces were in the home side's defence and proceeded to draw in the defenders and put strike runners through holes. Hard lines were being run by all with particular note to Becky Townsend, Emma Matthews and Leah Reynolds in the forwards, and the Natalie A’Bear and Allinson in the backs.
With 25 minutes gone and some 30 points on the board in favour of Devizes, Chipping Sodbury found a new lease of life and came right back at Devizes. Continued pressure saw some much needed big defensive efforts with Fay A’Bear tackling anything in an opposition shirt, Sarah Levy making big tackles and all the Ladies working hard. It was however inevitable that the pressure would tell, resulting in the home side crossing the try line wide out for a well-deserved score. The conversion was missed
5 changes before half time saw the introduction of fresh legs with the returning presence of Laura Fortey and the Evergreen Jo Storm introduced to the field. All 5 slotted in with no loss in performance.
Halftime saw Devizes lead 53-5.
Devizes started the second half in much the same way that they finished the first. Excellent support play and offloads resulted in a fast moving high tempo game despite the tricky conditions.
With the penalty count at just 3 for the whole game, and solid 1st phase possession, Devizes gave their opponents very little opportunity to get back into the game, however another spell of good close driving work from Chipping Sodbury saw their efforts rewarded with another converted try.
Excellent running lines from Georgia Walker in the back line created holes that players were able to race through and score unopposed.
With the game called off with 15 minutes to go the final score was 87-12 to Devizes
Try Scorers were Natalie A’Bear (5) Danielle Allison (3) Emily Pratt, Alice Bowerbank, Carrie Law, Chelsea Butler & Faye A’Bear
Conversions. Denise Warburton (9) Georgia Walker & Alice Bowerbank
Special mentions should go to Emma Matthews on playing her 100th game for the club. Carrie Law for ‘Lady of the Match’ award and first try for the team, Chelsea Butler on her first try for the team, All the returning players that put boots on to support the Ladies and Leon Sheppard for pulling the team together. Chipping Sodbury, whilst struggling for players, still fought very hard until the final whistle and deserve a lot of credit for their performance and commitment
The win should now mean that Devizes Ladies have secured their place in the league for next season, but more importantly, gets the team back on a winning track, and playing an attractive and enjoyable style of rugby with a smile on their faces.
Devizes Ladies next game is at home to North Petherton on Sunday 28th of January. All support is very welcome to cheer on our Ladies in what will be a tough game.