By Chris Newson
The girls show inspirational team spirit to triumph against all odds.
Last Sunday, the OL's Dragonesses attended their 7th tournament of the year at Shipston RFC. These tournaments are part of the West Midlands Girls Tag league & feature teams from OLs, Evesham, Bourneville, Kenilworth, Yardley, Berkswell & Balsall, Shipston, Keresley, Bromyard & Kings Norton.
The girls have been playing some good Rugby over the last few weeks which resulted in us getting second place in our group at our recent home tournament. We all thought that was pretty good with our squad being one of the youngest in the league, but even better was to come!
12 girls turned up to play at Shipston last Sunday for us & were all eager to play. 12 does make things a bit difficult as you field 7 with 2 subs & it wasn't really the right weather to have 3 other girls just standing around. So we suggested to the girls that they could play for some of the other teams who were short on a rotating basis to keep things fair. They all agreed to do this with no moaning & a really positive attitude, they just wanted to play & were happy to help out. It says a lot when are girls not only played for other teams (sometimes against us) but also really tried & scored a bunch of tries, not too many against us though.
Our first game was against Shipston which we eventually won 6-3. But the score doesn't really tell the whole story. As is often the case we didn't start too well & found ourselves 2-0 down early on. In the past that would have been the end of the game, but something amazing happened. Heads didn't drop & in fact our girls dug in started to motivate each other & then went on the attack. By half time it was 3-2 to OL's. We sent some new players on in the second half, but it didn't matter, we had the upper hand & scored some awesome tries & played committed defense in the second half.
We then beat Kings Norton 6-2 & were ready for a deciding match with Bourneville, historically a very good team. The game didn't disappoint & it was literally end to end stuff with OL's eventually triumphing 6-5. Once again, we had a slow start & were down early 2-0, perhaps a case of tired legs.
It wasn't looking good & even the most enthusiastic parents & coaches were a bit concerned. We'd had a good day, if we could just get a few tries & make the score respectable, we'd be happy. But, the girls weren't having any of that & from that point on produced what can only be described as perfect Rugby (on the attacking side anyway). Great running off the ball was the key with no one having to wait for support once they'd been tagged & sometimes we were even passing the ball before the tag.
Each of the three games were full of energy, no walking back, lots of talking & most importantly playing with heads.
Well done Draogonesses, bring on Keresley.