Once again Stockwood Ladies were on the road to play Hampstead Ladies in the final League game of the season …
With .. Aimee. Daisy, Annie ,Fran, Claire Sl Alice Lisa,Hazel,Debbie ,Fay and Shania either unavailable or injured we still managed to travel with 19…. This has been simply fantastic ,the depth of the squad, all season has been a constant strength and something as Head Coach I am immensely proud of
Now when you consider that Hampstead are second and believe that they can still win the league this wasn’t going to be easy .. the return fixture saw us go down 65-5 so needless to say
We had our work cut out …….
I was going to go through the game as normal but it is becoming increasingly difficult to single out performances when as a team the collective will to win and never give up is truly awesome ..
Hampstead came at us hard from the start but we were up for the battle and whilst having to work really hard we managed to keep them at bay whilst creating little breaks of our own .. perhaps the intensity of it all made us switch off for a second and Hampstead’s 10 managed to avoid three tackles and score under the posts … I think all three girls were disappointed at not making the tackle .. but that’s the game right …. This spurred Hampstead on and managed to force themselves over again from a penalty near the line to take a 12-0 advantage after 20 mins or so
The next 15 mins was all us we pushed back and tackled and counter rucked did a nice inside move and started to work our way up the pitch .. Fresh deciding to come to the game earlier than normal managed one of her breaks and was away .. getting caught she set back to the advancing Stocks in support with the ball finally going to Cat ..who found the clear space to score under the posts and with Tracey making the conversion we were right back in it. 12-7 at half time ..
The second half started much the same but more in the middle of the park ..and we were holding our own but once again just switched off for a second and Hampstead just had enough to score and convert taking them 19-7 in front ….. that meant we needed to score twice at least … we made a couple of clean breaks with only the fullback to beat .. she managed to make the tackle but I use that word loosely as I think another REF could easily have decided they were trips … real borderline ….
Hampstead managed to withstand our little period of dominance and return to an arm wrestle in the middle of the pitch..breaking out once more to score one more time before the end to finish up 24-7 winners ..
This was a great performance by us and a fantastic way to finish the year … we have so much opportunity to continue growing that we hopefully will be a force to be reckoned with next year .
Whilst this was a massive positive for us it is tinged with a little sadness.. as 3 of the regular players are moving on with their lives …. Irish ,Eleanor and Cath for different reasons won’t be with us next year and from my point of view I wanted to publicly thank them for their commitment and effort this year all 3 have played pretty well every game and have been amazingly consistent … I know we will all miss them very much not just for their playing ability but as people… I wish them well for their futures and there will always be a place at Stockwood Park for them .
The Ladies have a tour to look forward to travelling to France soon …. Although listening to the plans I am not sure how much Rugby will be played …
Then it’s all about next year … can’t wait …. Keith Head Coach Stockwood Park Ladies ….a title I am honoured to have …thank you Ladies so much …..