Durham U18 girls: A triumphant end to the season
Durham U18 girls close their season on a high beating Cheshire 36-22 at Vale of Lune RFC.
The sun was shining and it was great conditions for flowing rugby and for Durham’s young team to take on the looks of a much bigger team.
Form kick off, it was in fact Cheshire that asserted their dominance as they kept the ball in the visitors 22 for the first ten minutes.
Despite their early efforts, Durham’s Ellie Pigford followed pattern of performance and put in more than her fair share of big hits to keep them away from the line.
Eventually good interplay between Caitlin Render and Shannon Hetherington saw centre Erin High put through a gap. She needed no second invitation and sprinted clear to score.
Soon afterwards, High was through another gap for a second try, with Erin Kelly adding the conversion leading 12-0.
Adding the third score was Pigford as she battered her way through for a try in the corner.
Before the half time whistle, High completed her hat-trick, and a second Kelly conversion made the score 24 – 0 at the break.
A lapse of concentration at the beginning of the second half saw Cheshire put their name on the score board with an unconverted try.
Bouncing back, Durham went on the attack and some excellent handling saw Megan Woodward cross the line – she was denied the try as it was held up but the referee was playing advantage and a quick tap by Kelly released Imogen Keirl who was strong enough to score the try.
A sixth try was added, again by Keirl and again converted by Kelly to give Durham a 36 – 5 lead.
The final minutes were disjointed with a number of stoppage, seeing Cheshire score three unanswered tries to bring some respectability to the score ending 36-22.
Stuart McIvor, Team Manager said: “It was a fine performance from the squad, all of whom, except Keirl and Kelly, are eligible for at least one more season.
“A return of two wins from three matches shows how girls’ rugby in Durham is improving.
“We wish those who are leaving every success in their future rugby careers and look forward to next year’s county season with relish.”
Match day squad: 1. Lauren Swales 2. Ellie Pigford 3. Maddy Craggs 4. Olivia Davison 5. Lauren Robinson 6. Alice Birkert 7. Megan Woodward 8. Imogen Keirl 9. Erin Kelly 10. Charlotte Lamb 11. Shannon Hetherington 12. Erin High 13. Caitlin Render 14. Sophie Brunskill 15. Molly Hadfield 16. Meghan Gardner 17. Nina Buckton 18. Eden Bulman 19. Lucy Wharrier
For more information on the Durham U18s team see here.