Category: Ladies Match Report

Ladies 26 – 12 Harringey

On a rather mild December afternoon Stockwood Ladies entertained Haringey in the latest instalment of the Ladies NC South (North 2) League
The last time we played we were put to the sword by an efficient team from Hackney and the visitors also come from this area with a squad of 19 so its all set for a tussle.

With a few absentees and a lot of the squad suffering from colds and flu it was great to see the numbers we had and the commitment to the cause.
We received at the start and went forward into contact and started a phase of 10 or so minutes where whilst having the upper hand we were trying too hard and making a few errors.
Our intensity and aggression were in the right place and we were certainly dominating possession without creating anything too clear cut.
We had a slight delay after 15 mins where Aimee had been trodden on and we changed it up a bit with Sophie going into Fly Half and Ellen coming on the wing .
We then settled a little and the continual go forward from Amy and Dara .. Daisy , Cath and Danni was providing plenty of possession we then put together a nice phase with the ball going through hands and Eleanor committed her defender and sent Ellen free and with nobody but the full back she showed a clean pair of heels to score under the posts .. her first and well deserved try of the season …
With Sophie taking responsibility for the conversions she was a bit unlucky going underneath the posts .. but better was to follow.
We continued to gain possession and this time went to the other wing where Cat showed another clean pair of heels cut inside to score her 3rd try of the season and with Sophie converting (which got the loudest cheer of the afternoon) we were 12-0 up and to be fair we were comfortable.
Haringey had rarely threatened but they came back at us and put together a good move with nice hands and got to within 5 mtrs of the line before they were stopped we had a bit of a scramble in defence and it looked like we had stopped her short of the line .. but the ref saw differently and awarded the try …
This was a pivotal part of the game .. how we would react would really see how far we have come and if I am honest it was the perfect response.

We continued to dominate possession and when Haringey did get the ball we were on them quickly … forcing errors and gifting up the ball … From a drive from Amy which gained 6 or 7 mtrs before she was slowed we found ourselves 5-6 mtrs from the line .. the forwards decided this was the time to all pile in and shove … and shove we did as Amy was forced over the line for her first try of the season.
Sophie continues with her new found converting technique to the delight of everybody. From the kick off we get a scrum .. we were dominant in this area all day … and sweep right to find Cat again who jinks her way to the line to score her second of the day and with Sophie completing a hatrick of conversions we end the half 26-5 up .

An almost complete half of Rugby in many ways … as we are a developing team with lots of new comers to the game we changed a few around to give everybody ago Lisa coming on at fullback , Chloe on the wing and Aimee returning to fly half .

We started as we finished the first half and looked to have scored when Katie had driven to the line after a sustained spell trying to get over … the Haringey girl was yellow carded after being warned several times for playing the ball on the floor .. the only quibble was the ball looked to be on the line ..which is a Try ..but we coughed up possession and Haringey got some relief .
The next 20 mins was a bit of an arm wrestle in the middle of the field and into the oppos half .. everybody working tirelessly .. Dara and Daisy making ground only to be thwarted by some stern defending. We had taken a few of the better players off to give them a rest and to continue experience with Claire Walsh making her debut.
The slight change gave Haringey an opportunity which they finished well and with the conversion being made the last 10 mins would prove interesting ..
We were clearly flagging a bit as the efforts of the day were taking their toll and the intensity dropped a bit .. Haringey sensed this and went for it .. the last 5 minutes was a constant attacking barrage on our line but we held firm and with Claire Walsh making try saving tackle and the rest of the team falling in behind there was no further score …. A great performance with a great result and a real desire to win shown which was truly awesome.

It is becoming hard to name a Woman of the Match as everybody is doing their bit which is so pleasing as it is a team game after all …
Special mention to Lisa ,Claire and Chloe for stepping up when needed and contributing .. Amy for a great game and Cat and Ellen for great wing play …
Dara got the forward of the match with some great driving runs setting the platform for things to follow, this is so important and Aimee the back of the match as she was right up for it all game

Finally Sophie apart from the first 5 minutes or so was pretty awesome and scored 3 out 4 kicks but her line speed was a joy to behold.

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Ladies undone by top of table Hackney

Hackney RFC 72 V Stockwood RFC 0

Whilst the score line would speak for itself in fact underneath the headline there is a great deal to be happy about .
Stockwood Ladies of 2017-2018 on a sunny day in August embarked on a new journey with a new coach and whole load of new players … and unless you know the history of the side you wouldn’t necessarily understand the huge improvement that is being seen. Sometimes devoid of structure, belief and numbers .. the one thing the girls have always had is a togetherness and a determination to enjoy themselves whatever happens.

This game was only the 5th time some of them have played a game and it was only the 5th they had played as a team …. What we did see was structure, a little belief and a squad of 20 … unfortunately a couple of the better players were unavailable but that just gives other people opportunity and experience .. which is what we need.

Hackney are top of the table and there is a reason for that .. pretty well drilled ..but the real ace up their sleeve was a winger of extreme fitness and pace ( to be honest should be playing at a much higher level than this ) and with a wide pitch took full advantage of her despite the best efforts of our never say die fullback Irish… who was heard to say (FFS) as the girl stepped inside her at pace to score the first try after 5-6 mins with a big grin on her face it has to be said. Hackney at every opportunity fed the ball to this girl and we even kicked it to her from the re-starts to add to the difficulties. She was so confident on many an occasion she would leave her wing and join in the opposite side as the extra person ..she had serious gas and it was too much for us.
However we won every one of our scrums and indeed pushed them back on their own a couple of times we made the gain line every time we took the ball into contact and our rucking was very good all day … Daisy made great strides giving us some go forward and the handling in the backs was good ..we just couldn’t break the line despite the best efforts of Debs , Sophie ,Aimee and Ellen … our 2 inexperienced wingers gave it everything (Chloe and Ally) but they would always struggle against a girl of this pace .
Dara ,Fran,Claire and Danni were working hard Tracey was everywhere and Faye and Cath always seemed to be the ones taking the ball into contact ..and setting it back I may add..
It wasn’t as if we didn’t have any of the ball .. just when they had it their line was so deep that they could always shift it out to old speedy on the wing.

At half time it was 53-0 and not particularly reflective of the rugby we were playing … but hey scoreboard doesn’t lie right?… We discussed the need to get closer to their back line to try and stop the ball getting out to the wing … with the oppo giving us no respite by not taking her off …. We started the second half brightly and defensively much better … being a little more aggressive with Alice and Kristie (making her debut this year) Shania coming on to have a go and get some game time under the belt. Having scored only a couple more tries midway through the second half the backs started to come up and then drift out and suddenly found themselves nearer to the oppo and started to put them under pressure and surprise surprise they started to panic a bit .. play became a bit broken and we were a match .. it was a shame we hadn’t done it earlier .. Sophie and DEBS were putting in some big hits and eventually managed to get hold of speedy right in the corner and knock her into touch .. with Katie and Aimee doing a pretty good job at organising and putting tackles in themselves .. it was a really good second half with the game finishing at 72-0 …. Only 20 points conceded in the 2nd half … massive improvement…

One of the oppositions spectators was heard to say that he thought our structure and gameplay was better than Hackneys because they were very one dimensional .. but when it works why would you be any different … for the record the other winger was a good player as well but not the destructive pace the other girl had … it would be interesting to see how it would be without her as she gives them a great deal of confidence …

Friendly team, nice hospitality and look forward to the return on our home patch next year …. We will be very different then .. that’s a promise

Forward of the match DAISY huge performance for the full game .. has the bruises to show for it
Back of the match SOPHIE big shoes to fill with Eleanor not playing and she was immense ….
Special mention this week for Cath … puts a huge amount of work in and as one of our more “experienced” players leads the way with her never say die attitude.

Well done Ladies .. two good games to come Haringey at home and Kilburn away …. Play like we have been and we have a shout ….

Ladies shine against Harlow

On a bright but breezy Sunday afternoon Stockwood Park Ladies RFC started the
4th instalment of their league campaign.

Having a regular squad of 23-25 the feeling has been that of steady improvement despite receiving some heavy defeats

Park started brightly and with the pack of Dara, Daisy ,Danni, Tracey ,Fran Cath and Faye getting around the field well and creating plenty of ball that Katie could
use quickly to free the Backs up … after a couple of probing darts from inside centre Debs the ball went through hands out to Cat on the wing who had
the gas and the space to put an early score on the board , totally deserved for the excellent play.

We had spoken about being too passive at the breakdown and Park were showing that they could be a match for anybody in this frame of mind.
A similar move repeated for an almost carbon copy of the first try 5 minutes later released Cat again to score her second and give Park a 10-0 lead ….further excellent teamwork kept Harlow at bay and indeed they never looked to threaten getting close but when they did were repelled by excellent defence.
With an excellent series of defensive drives Debs powered her way up the field to score a third try before the break to complete what was a fine half of team rugby with a deserved lead.
With Park able to use the large squad to freshen things up a bit we continued to dominate the second half although it took 20 mins before scoring again with the effervescent Fran
picking up from a ruck and powering through under the posts to score .

Harlow then put together their best phase of play to score a fine try from their free running full back who had been trying all afternoon to break through and finally found a gap on the wing to squeeze through and score.
This brilliant performance from Park was rounded up by another super break from Debs and great support play finishing in the hands of Danni to drive over the line for her first try for the club. On what was a brilliant day for the club 25-5 winners for the first time in this league represents a truly fantastic performance and signs of a team developing in the right way.

Debs was voted Back of the match .. clearly a thorn in Harlows side all afternoon and Danni was voted as forward of the match by rounding off her great all round performance with a try ..
Special mentions go to Daisy and Claire Slight for their performances so much better girls .. Eleanor for her consistent tackling (a lesson in technique for anybody) and Irish .. who as every game passes grows in stature … and I don’t believe she has missed a tackle yet … I want to mention everybody as the performance was really special .. Aimee and Sophie sharing the fly half role excellently and Cat for her 2 tries finished clinically … finally Cath, Fran, Dara and Faye ..who worked all game and played the full 80 mins ..very special ladies ….
Not forgetting Ellen who is always consistent .. Chloe , Alice ,Lisa ,Shania and Keera who are growing their experience never let you down.
Finally as a Coach sometimes it is hard to always ensure everybody gets the game time … Ally Harkin shows what Stockwood is all about .. I cannot thank you enough for your attitude yesterday and the rest of the team are truly grateful and you cannot buy that kind of commitment.
As you can see a very excited and happy Coach …. We have harder challenges to come but a special day for all involved …

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Ladies vs Hampstead

Having regrouped and counted the walking wounded our second home league fixture of the season found us again with a full squad .. this time 19 … I believe this to be a first for this group that we have been able to turn out these numbers regularly so theres a positive before we start .. and with the “development league” you get a point for a full squad .. so whatever happened today we would receive another 2pts but lets hope for more …

Without the regular scrum half or 10 we were in trouble really as Cat couldn’t arrive until 2pm on the dot .. so with Tracey at 9 and Ellen trying out at 10 we started a little bit disjointed.. Hamptead took advantage of this from the start and scored 3 tries really quickly which we were never to recover from … Whilst a few players were giving their all as a collective our intensity was a bit low and generally we were watching Hamptead play instead of competing with them. On occasions we started to play a bit and challenge Hampteads skill sets and when under pressure they started to fail a bit … again at the end of the half we were camped on their line and just couldn’t get the ball to the right place to score .,.. as with the previous week we are a bit passive when we don’t have the ball and teams at the moment are having success when they create multiple phases.
With Chloe , Lisa , Claire Sl, Chloe B and Claire Walsh all getting valuable game time its starts to create us some depth and with experience this will give us the strength as well.

Hampstead ran the ball well and were very good at keeping the ball “live” despite the intentions of Eleanor and Tracey , Faye Danni and Fran to stop them hard… Lisa who had never played more than 5-10 mins played a full half at fullback and showed a great understanding of the role and was unlucky on several occasions not to stop her attacker .#

Having got a bit frustrated with our intensity a few words behind the try line seemed to “wake” everybody up our pick and drive proving very successful as we moved our way up the field .. Dara and Daisy making ground being supported by Amy Danni , Fran and Shania, we kept moving and re-cycling the ball well to finally find Daisy to crash over the line and score a well deserved try …

Again perhaps the score was a little unflattering but there were some real good performances and we are growing as a team / squad of 25-26 regulars …be interesting to see what the reverse fixture brings …
Faye voted forward of the match
Eleanor voted back of the match

Special mention for Tracey who was fantastic out of position and Daisy for her first try …

Finally I would ask you all to start to believe in yourselves as I truly think this is holding us back a bit .

Overall its all great and you appear to be having a good time which is all that really matters

Ladies improved vs Hitchin

So on a sunny Sunday afternoon the Ladies had their first away game in the League with the short journey to Hitchin …
With a fabulous squad of 22 and plenty of support too there is no doubt we are gaining momentum with our Journey.

Wasn’t sure what to expect when the Ref announced before the game that he had sent 2 Coaches off this season already and that I should be aware that his daughter used to play at Hitchin albeit she was at Uni now… and as it transpired I needed to expect nothing as that is what we got ..(not that the result would have been different, but that is not the point)

Anyway … we started very brightly and for the first 10 minutes or so had a very even battle albeit in our own half … with Dara and Fran leading the contact and Katie and Aimee organising the team we look structured and generally held ourselves together well and defensively were sound. However we dropped our intensity a bit and this gave Hitchin a bit too much momentum allowing them to score after 15-20 mins or so ..
Hitchin play with a lot of aggression and intimidation and with very specific attempts at handing off on the face whilst not strictly against the laws are certainly on the edge of what is acceptable.
With Irish making her normal saving tackles .. Eleanor all over the pitch in defence we held ourselves together enough .. but started to pick up injuries and conceded a couple more scores quickly . We really need to compete more at the breakdown as we are allowing teams to have too much of the ball and by the 5th or 6th phase of an attack the opposition tend to be able to find some space .. albeit they have had to work for it.
We galvanised ourselves well and played for the last 15 mins or so of the half within 10 metres of their line … we put together lots of phases and found Hitchin committing penalties at the breakdown Amy ,Dara , Daisy ,Faye ,Tracey and Fran all working hard as we kept inching towards the line ..Debbie and Cath trying their utmost to get through and get the ball wide to Ellen or Ally to score .. Hitchin kept us at bay but through conceding 6 or 7 Penalties in what is known as the red zone .. for me this is either a Penalty Try or a Yellow card as they were deliberately fouling to stop the play/momentum and on 2 occasions this led to a break out by Hitchin to score ….. the second half had a very similar flow to it .. although by this time both Katie and Aimee were off injured with Cat doing the scrum half duties and Alice Lisa and Chloe… coming on to give it a go.. Shania playing in various different positions giving her all. Hitchin managed to score regularly but again we never give up and for the last 10 mins of the match found ourselves doing exactly what we had at the end of the first half but his time with 8 or 9 penalties to keep us at bay .. again we were not awarded anything for this and ended up scoreless and 53-0 result.
Personally I feel this not to be a fair reflection of the game perhaps a 39-15 would have been more indicative of how we had played. The last time we had played Hitchin we were on the end of a 93-0 scoreline so to have almost halved this shows a great improvement considering the intensity with which Hitchin play.

My last comment about this game is surrounding the ref …we accepted every decision as we should and showed him a large amount of respect as is the Rugby way …. But he refused to shake my hand at the end of the game and I find that unforgivable ..

Ladies go down to Marlow

This Sunday saw the Ladies of Stockwood Park begin their first major League campaign against the Ladies of Marlow .. who would no doubt be a well drilled side having had more experience and time together.
Buoyed by the last performance there was a lot of anticipation and having 16 available we already had a point before we started …. Unfortunately Marlow had only 12 so we had to play 12 aside.. .However with the subs situation we hoped it would help us as the game went on.
We started well with Aimee coming in at 10 and Sophie moving out to Inside Centre and with Eleanor and Ellen outside her this was as strong a back line as we could put out … with the space on the pitch this looked like an advantage, as the game went into 10 mins having had to defend for a period we finally managed to release the backs from our own 5 metre line what followed was a brilliant try with support and pace and no little skill with the ball changing hands 3 or 4 times for Aimee to finally touch down .. what was her first try in a match ….and what a fantastic start to the League Campaign ..

Marlow reacted strongly and had a very elusive 10 of their own who has obviously played a lot of Rugby and potentially at a higher level because she started pulling strings and running the game … Marlow attacked down the blind side and were thwarted a couple of times by super Trace .. playing at fullback for the first time … but eventually their possession told and equalised in the corner … It was here that we showed our lack of experience against their 10 who again attacked at the blind twice more to score and with one conversion and a further score on the other side the wind was taken out of our sails a bit. Really we should have been able to spot what they were going to do and counter –act it.
Eleanor was trying her hardest and her tackle count was mounting .. .we were a little disappointing in the forwards not reaching the levels of the previous game and getting over the ball quickly enough to give us the momentum and possession we changed it about a bit with Cath and Fay coming on and making a little bit of a difference .. Katie ended up being in the maul to often and Eleanor, because she was tackling ,so left the backline a little disjointed.

These things happen in the heat of battle .. and as we play more games this will happen less and less .. The second half we gave very little in attack and when we did have the opportunity we made poor choices and lost possession when a chance to score was there … with the unfortunate injury to Sophie putting a real dampner on the day .. and as of writing I don’t know how she is and I know we all wish her well and I would like to add how unfair these things are sometimes as she was becoming a very good player in a quick time .. I just hope it was nothing serious … I felt we lost our intensity a bit … nobody gave up everybody kept trying .. but we weren’t quick enough in line speed and a bit passive at the breakdown .. with the lineout misfiring as well we just couldn’t get enough possession to let Ellen and Eleanor attack as we know they can.
So first game is a loss but that is irrelevant we are progressing there are so many positives .. a squad of sufficient numbers with other players to come back , Amy ,Shania making solid debuts ..Eleanor, Sophie ,Aimee and Ellen showing real intent in attack .. Tracey playing a strange role for her and doing a great job .. Katie all over the game and organising as best she can Fran and Danii forming a good partnership .. Ally getting better every time she plays …. and solid performances from Cath and Fay off the bench …

The good news is you were all disappointed and that is a really good sign for the journey we are on … hold tight ladies it will come good in the end.

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Ladies vs Kilburn Cosmos

Match report with video footage below the report;

On a particularly warm Saturday morning the 2017-2018 season and “journey” for Stockwood’s Ladies began …

We had a friendly trip to Kilburn to see if we could put into practice the structures and skills we have been talking about in training … We are a developing side I was clear I wasn’t expecting much more than 60 Mins of concentration and effort, with a mixture of newbies,oldies and first timers .. injury and early season availability left us with 11 to travel we set off to what would prove to be a valuable mornings rugby.

Kilburn start their season with this traditional fixture ,3 games being played in a festival type and friendly atmosphere. We had decided to play 12 aside they would lend us a player for each half and off we go …
Having put the scrum together in a space of 15 mins prior to the start (as we were uncontested) Alice went in at Hooker ,so not only has she never played a game but she went into a very important position so this would prove interesting . Sophie at fly half (never played there before) Eleanor first full senior game at 17, Fran debut .. Chloe never played before (wing) Irish Claire (I cant tackle) at fullback .. Ally at No 8 normally plays on the wing ? … Cath , Danni and Katie stalwarts … Ellen at outside centre (normally wing).

So as you can see this would be a challenge. Katie was made Captain for the day and up against a side who were 18 or so in strength and used to playing with each other( they did have some newbies but they were on the wings which is a bit easier to settle in ) she would need all her motivational skills.

We started we received and went into contact … what followed was to say the least truly magnificent .. with Danni and Fran picking and driving .. Cath and Alice supporting them well we really go on the front foot we created several phases and were really controlled and quite precise .. for approximately 15-20 mins we had a bit more of the game and when they did go wide and around Claire and Eleanor covered beautifully and closed down the opportunities .. at this point Fran deserves a mention for countless pick and drives which allowed us to be going forward and she always made ground a truly superb debut … when the ball came out Sophie had the line in the right place and the passing was effective and solid .. Kilburns line speed was quick and they managed to stop us before we could really create too much … but with Eleanor and Ellen taking the contact and the support arriving we had a fair share of possession if not the lions share.
It was at this point that Kilburn managed a bit of a breakaway score somehow finding themselves with the ball in midfield their very effective 12 found space and with an overlap it just needed to go through hands and that’s what they did and opened the scoring under the posts.

I would like to mention at this point that we had had 3 lineouts I think 2 ours and 1 of theirs .. Alice nailed her throws to Fran who was lifted magnificently…. This is a technical side of the game that takes a lot of practice … or does it .. 15 mins of discussion led to almost perfection at the lineout … and Fran nearly stole everyone of Kilburns ably supported by Danni and Cath lifting

At 7-0 we were possibly a bit unlucky but the heat was taking its toll a bit and with Sophie off for a bit of medical attention Kilburn managed to go wide once more and score in the corner despite the best efforts of Ellen and Claire … at half time the score was 12-0 … which was perhaps unfair but considering the situation we had started from felt like a massive victory.

The second half was similar in many ways but the heat was taking its toll more on us than Kilburn and they found a few more gaps with their very strong running fullback getting through and their impressive 12 also ..
However the girls never gave up and indeed when they realised that there was only seven or so minutes to go … upped their intensity and started to get some more possession .. from a quick penalty and an interchange between Fran and Katie .. Fran crashed over to score her first of what I am sure will be many tries in a Stockwood shirt … It was the least they deserved for the efforts on the day … the game finished 36-5 I believe but the result wasn’t important for us .. the performance very much was and if this is a base we are going to build from it’s a very solid start …
We decided there were too many great performances to award a Man (Woman) of the Match as everybody was brilliant … but a couple of Coaches special mentions … Fran … everywhere on the day and capped off with a try .. thoroughly deserved … and Claire (Irish) .. a week ago we had a discussion about how to tackle from behind .. this is a very difficult skill to coach or even explain so I said … you need to decide if your quick enough to catch up if not then if your near enough just commit and go for it ..with about 10 mins to go their very strong running fullback ran through and looked like she was going to score, Claire however had other ideas and did exactly what we had talked about and took down the player like a Lion catching an antelope … truly magnificent tackle and for me it makes all the talking and training so worthwhile ..
Thank you all so much …

Keith Standring
Ladies Team Coach

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Ladies vs Stanford Le Hope Ladies 5 – 60


Stockwood Park ladies lost 60-5 against top of the league team Stanford Le Hope LRFC.

The ladies travelled with only 10 players available due to injuries and unavailability, but as the opposition commented, “rugby can be taught, but the commitment we have cannot”.

Stockwood’s only points of the game came from tenacious scrum half Emily Varnals.

Team Captain Freya Casemore said: “There’s lots to learn from the game but also a lot of positives to take away.

“The standard of tackling and attack of play improved dramatically in the 2nd half, and we will work hard to cut out the basic errors at training.”

Next game for the ladies is a home fixture against Maidstone LRFC on Sunday 16 October.

Training for the ladies team takes place at London Road on Thursdays starting at 7pm.

So if you’re aged 13-17 or 18+ why not come and give it a go! It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the game or a seasoned campaigner, you are guaranteed to receive a warm welcome at one of the newest women’s rugby clubs in Bedfordshire.

One Club. Stockwood Park. 🔴🔶🔴

Ladies triumph over Peterborough

The ladies bought home the only victory for Stockwood Park this weekend with much improved play from the previous weekend recording a 29-24 victory over Peterborough.    In a tight contest with the lead changing hands several times in the first half the Stockwood ladies gained the lead in the second half with Peterborough keeping just one step behind all the way to the end.

A good line out platform allows Aisha to break through and cross under the posts


Chloe Baxter breaks away after some good support play to cross under the posts


Stockwood moves the ball about


Kelly Robins adding to Stockwood’s total for the day.


Debbie McHugh crosses for one of her two for day after some great work in a ruck by the forwards a few meters out.

77 – 5 Cuffley Ladies too good for Stockwood newbies

Cuffley Ladies proved too strong for an inexperienced Stockwood Park side who fielded 5 new ladies playing in their first match, Cuffley ran out as the 77 – 5 victors in a well spirited contest.

Debbie McHugh crashes over for Stockwood’s only try of the game after some quick thinking from a penalty.