Durham Girls set the bar high with opening match
Durham County U18 girls opened their season with a record victory over another County to win 68-0 against Cumbria.
The side travelled south to Doncaster with their squad of 22, with only seven of last year’s squad.
Some key players from last season’s successful U15s squad made their debut’s to make a far from weak side.
Durham showed their intent from the off with some fine handling and ball retention, which resulted in captain, Erin Kelly scoring the first try of the game.
The ever-potent Lauren Robinson added the next when her powerful burst for the line saw her go straight through the middle of the defence.
Possibly the best try of the game came when Lauren Swales broke the line before passing to Mia Welsh who offloaded out of the tackle to Laura Bookall. Bookall was forced towards touch but was able to pass the ball back inside to Megan Woodward who sped clear to score.
The crowd were then treated to a masterful display of sidestepping as Erin High danced through the defence for the fourth try. Ellie Pigford added a score in the corner before quick reactions saw Kelly add her second to the board which she converted.
Further tries were added by winger, Nicole Dawson and a second from Woodward with another Kelly conversion leaving the score 44 – 0 at the break.
Durham now emptied the bench with all the replacements coming on the field; all the three-quarters were replaced, but the side was not noticeably weakened as they were well marshalled by fly-half Charlotte Lamb.
When Cumbria did get the ball, they were well tackled, with hits from Pigford, Robinson and Meghan Gardner particularly noteworthy.
More tries were tallied when Kelly scored for her hatrick followed by a second for Robinson.
Good awareness saw Lucy Wharrier pick up the ball from the back of a ruck and dart down the blind side unopposed for her score. Chloe Broom looked hopeful as she broke through two tackles but her run ended as she tripped and passed off to Caitlin Render to finish the afternoon scoring with a clean sheet.
Match day squad:
Lauren Swales, Ellie Pigford, Meghan Gardner, Lauren Robinson, Olivia Davison, Alice Birkert, Megan Woodward, Mia Welsh, Erin Kelly, Charlotte Lamb, Laura Bookall, Eden Bulman, Erin High, Nicole Dawson, Molly Hadfield, Maddison Craggs, Olivia Rowe, Caitlin Render, Chloe Broom, Shannon Hetherington, Lucy Branch, Lucy Wharrier