Cheshire u18 Girls 36 – Durham County RFU u18 Girls 24
Durham Under 18 Girls Finally Get to Play
After two postponements due to the weather, County Durham U18 Girls finally managed to play their first game of the season after a long coach trip to Manchester RUFC to face Cheshire.
Durham featured a lot of new faces to last season and a new captain in second row Sophie Slater. Cheshire scored first with a try through their powerful forwards, but Durham fought back when full-back Chloe Allison hit the line at pace to receive a flat pass from Olivia Rowe and score a fine try. A second Durham try came straight from the kick-off; Slater fielded the kick and took the ball on an arcing run, complete with a couple of hand-offs, she fed Erin Kelly who sped over for the score. Kelly converted her own try. The game was soon level again as Cheshire scored a converted try. A fine piece of handling through the Durham backs saw Kara Taylor pass the ball to wing Rachel Brown, the fleet-footed winger stepped out and in to wrong-foot her opposite number and she scored a try which Kelly converted. Despite being the smaller pack, Durham were dominant in the scrums with props Lauren Swales and Molly Ambler causing all sorts of mayhem in the front row. The solid platform led to Durham’s fourth try as Brown made the most of a two on one on the blind side. Cheshire scored with the last play of the half as they went over from a lineout. At the break, Durham led 24 – 17.
Cheshire had by now realised that their best chances would lie with keeping the ball in the forwards and away from Durham’s pace out wide. The home side battered against the Durham defence and added three tries in the second period, the best of which was the final one in which fine offloading saw the forwards make room for the winger to cut inside for the try. Durham made a number of forays in the backs, but they were starting from deep in their own territory and the Cheshire defence was able to keep them from making too much ground. The final score was 36 – 24 to Cheshire.
Durham Squad: Lauren Swales, Jess Donohue, Molly Ambler, Jenny Provan, Sophie Slater, Mia Welsh, Caitlin Smith, Toni Pullen, Erin Kelly, Olivia Rowe, Rachel Brown, Kara Taylor, Eden Bulman, Reann Anderson, Chloe Allison, Heather Thomson, Alex Linklater, Megan Woodward, Chloe-Marie Mignon