SUNDAY 15TH MAY 2016
WOMENS’ RUGBY COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
LANCASHIRE LADIES 52 V DURHAM LADIES 24
Durham travelled to Liverpool St. Helens RFC to play Lancashire ladies in the third County Championship game of the season. The game was watched by the Lancashire President Tim Stirk and his wife Alison, both of whom have strong Durham connections, and former England Womens’ Rugby World Cup winning captain Gill Burns, who shortly will become Lancashire’s first woman President.
Prop forward Emily Hunter (Darlington Mowden Park), opened the scoring for Durham with a try after 4 minutes, which was converted by Sunderland’s Laura Envy the fly half.
The majority of Lancashire’s side was made up of Firwood Waterloo players, and one of them, left winger Rebekah Wilson, (a former 100 metre national title winning sprinter, and a member of the British two-woman bobsleigh team at the 2014 Vancouver Winter Olympics) replied with a try which was converted by Caoimhe Morris their No. 10, who had a decent afternoon with the boot.
Lancashire went further ahead with a second try by Igz Ekoku their right winger, but this time it was unconverted.
Despite the hot afternoon, both sides went flat out and it was end-to-end very entertaining rugby throughout the game enjoyed by the all the spectators.
Durham’s pack led by blindside flanker and former skipper Darlington’s Jess Cheesman, who had another storming game, pressurised the Lancashire side, whose strength lay in their speedy backs.
A second try by Wilson, who evaded the Durham defence, Morris adding the extra points.
Good work by Durham resulted in Bishop Auckland’s Rachelle Cooley, playing on the right wing, scoring their second try, Envy missing the conversion.
The half time score was Lancashire 19, Durham 12, though this did not reflect the state of play because Durham should have been on a par, or possibly in the lead.
Shortly after the restart, Wilson scored her hat-trick try, Morris’ boot adding the conversion.
Durham pegged Lancashire back and Emily Hunter scored her second and their third try five minutes later, Envy being off target with the conversion.
Lancashire scored two more tries by Wilson and replacement Lauren Delany, Morris kicking both conversions.
Durham’s forwards kept driving forward, Lancashire’s defence working very hard to keep them at bay.
After pressurising Lancashire on their try line, the ball was passed to centre Tara Breslin of Sunderland who scored under the posts and then kicked the conversion.
The old axiom, pace is the hardest thing to defend against, was proven once again as Lancashire completed their win with two more tries by Wilson, both converted by the ever reliable Morris.
Overall, Lancashire were the better team on the day, but Durham did not deserve to lose by such a large margin, which doesn’t reflect on how well they played.