Durham County Women denied derby match in closing minutes
Durham County Senior Women narrowly miss out on derby match as Northumberland secure a converted try in the last minutes to win 17-10.
This year’s Durham Senior Women’s squad made up from players from Darlington RFC, Sunderland Flames, Bishop Auckland, DMP Sharks and Billingham travelled to Novocastrians on Friday night to play derby rivals, Northumberland.
The game was intense and evenly matched most of the way through with scoring proving difficult as both teams defended their try line relentlessly.
Scoring first just before the half time break was Durham’s inside centre, Tara Breslin as she crashed through the open defence to score an unconverted try.
Despite a half time lead it was not at all in the comfort zone for the visiting side as Northumberland came back with more steam, more aggression and eagerness.
Northumberland showed quick responses to what was in front of them proving to put them one step ahead both in defence and attack.
Although, Durham served well to push the hosts defence back on numerous occasions, persistence paid off as North’s Natasha Robinson opened up the space and darted through to score under the posts. Lauren Wallace pushed the score in the hosts favour as she slotted the ball between the posts.
The tension evident in the first half still very much remained as the two sides were in each others pockets throughout.
As Durham dragged their way back up the field it was a ball off the line out fed into the centres that gave Kirsty Patterson an overlap in the corner to award the visitors a 10-7 lead.
In the second half both sides were guilty of conceding a number of penalties but Northumberland took advantage and set for the post to even the score 10-10.
Presenting themselves as the fitter side, Northumberland began to speed up play as they played the offload game in the visitors half making them work twice as hard to recover in defence.
Durham defended the try line from just a few metres out once more and play was back in the middle of park but it seemed Northumberland did not need to be within touching distance as full back, Emily Oliver scooped the ball and ran wide beating the defence under the posts.
With a secondary conversion on the board, Northumberland lead 17-10 with just five minutes on the clock.
Continuing with passion, the game was entertaining to the final whistle with Durham just missing out on their first Gill Burns Championship match.
The side will re-group at training on Wednesday at Hartlepool Rugby Club and go again on Sunday as they welcome Cumbria to Blaydon RFC for a 2pm KO.
By Clarissa Murphy