Dragonesses finish third at Kings Norton
By Chris Newson
Inspirational play from both squads makes for a very memorable day at Kings Norton
The recent run of good results continued for the OLs Dragonesses continued this Sunday, away at Kings Norton. A great turnout saw us field 2 squads of 8 players.
The Yellow Squad was a good mixture of our younger players & some of our more experienced leaders. They really hit the ground running in their first match against Kings Norton Red & the work they’ve put into training over the last two weeks was evident. A couple of flowing passing moves & fantastic support play lead to 2 tries & 2 more breakaway runs also netted tries. Unfortunately OL’s were outlasted by a good Kings Norton team & eventually lost 5-4. They then were then drawn to play Evesham, probably the best team in the league. We lost 7-2 eventually, but the fight they put up was remarkable & they managed to keep it close for most of the first half. Unfortunately the day ended with a third defeat at the hands was Bromyard B, but the team played some great Rugby throughout the day & are starting to look like a really professional outfit.
Having finished their group, the Yellow Squad now joined their teammates on the next pitch to watch the final moments of their third group game. The Red Squad had had a great day up to this point defeating Shipton B 5-3 & Kersley A 7-2. They just had to win the last match against Balsall & Berkswell B to qualify for the semi-final. The first half had been a great display of flowing Rugby by OL’s which earned then a score of 4-1 at the break. The girls really were on top form, putting together some nice moves & making great runs off the ball. However B&B had fought their way back into the match & OLs had to hang-on for an edgy 6-5 victory.
So, onto the semi-final against (would you believe it) Balsall & Berkswell A Squad. The opponents were a very strong squad with most of their girls nearer the top of the 8 to 17 age range allowed. However OL’s were not perturbed, they were playing with confidence. Unfortunately the first half bought the team back to earth, with the opponent playing great Rugby & relying on a couple of very fast players to break the line & score, OLs were down 4-1 at the interval!
Earlier this season, heads would have dropped & that would have been game over, but the Dragonesses are a very resilient team these days & without much encouragement, they ran back onto the pitch for the second half having made some adjustments & determined to play better. Play Better they did & to the opponents surprise OL’s started to play their usual flowing style & thanks to great support play from the rest of the team & a couple of long runs, OL’s came storming back. Sadly it wasn’t enough, they lost by one try, but the second half they played has to go down as one of their most memorable performances so far this season.
After all of that, we had one game left to play, the 3rd/4th place playoff against Bromyard. This was a really tough match given what the girls had just gone through 5 minutes before, but in true Dragonesses spirit they managed to dig deep & find a performance even better than the last one. It didn’t look good to start with, with Bromyard ahead in the first half, but OL’s managed to pull it back to 3-3 at the break. The girls were determined to not let the chance of a third place finish escape them & once again made some changes at the half & went out to finish things off.
Sadly, the other team had made some changes too & were playing very well. So it all came down to the last minute of the game. 60 seconds to go & OL’s down 4-6. This was when the girls decided to unleash a performance even better than the last. Bromyard’s kick-off was fielded on the full by OLs & moved straight out to the wing were speed took over & suddenly we were back in it at 5-6. OL’s kick-off next & this time it wasn’t fielded well by the opposition, allowing OL’s to get in & steal the ball. The girls were flying now & again some great passing moved the ball into space & suddenly in was 6 all. There was only one results that was going to happen now with the girls playing with such confidence. There was simply no way through for the opposition, OL’s wrapped up the 6 tags without much fuss & then scored the winning try on the last play of the game from the restart.
A fitting way to end an amazing day of Rugby for a truly great team!
Well done girls.