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Home > News > Chesham Women 7 - Harlow Women 24
Your News Chesham Women 7 - Harlow Women 24

Chesham Rugby Club’s Women’s team took on an in-form Harlow side at home on Sunday afternoon. A delayed kick off was decided upon so that the game could played with fourteen players on each side, with Charlotte Parry and Nicky Gross racing from work to turn out for Chesham. A further delay in their arrival led to some rather fraught discussions for the captains with the referee looking on. Even with the rule book on Chesham’s side (actually appearing on the pitch at one point!) it was shaping up to be a tough eighty minutes for the home team.

A last minute change of heart from Harlow meant that Chesham entered the game with fourteen against fifteen; Hannah Butler playing at centre and filling in at flanker to match numbers in the scrum. The game kicked off with both sides scrapping for possession, and working hard to release the backs. However, it was Harlow who looked stronger in the opening period. With the wind behind them and a lot of aggression, Harlow eventually scored two tries in fairly quick succession. Putting their strong runners through the centre of the defence they were able to score under the posts.

Captain Vicky Boorman reminded her team to tackle low, and Becca Duggan at inside centre certainly took her words to heart as she began to cut down the Harlow runners at source. Her efforts inspired others in the side to do the same and Chesham’s defence soon solidified.

The scrum had struggled for both sides throughout the first half, primarily due to two new props positioned against each other. But, with a few changes the scrum righted itself and Chesham began to perform well with scrum-half Jane Morris beginning to supply the home side’s dangerous backline with some quality clean ball. Just before the close of the first half Chesham lost a player as Nicky Gross found herself open to a hefty tackle and suffered a blow to the head.

With Chesham now down by two players they were going to struggle in the second half, but with much aggression and determination they began to fight their way back into the game. Charlotte Parry again demonstrated her ability with ball hand, demonstrated with a trademark run in the open, smashing away several would-be tacklers with some impressive hand offs. Soon after Chesham’s efforts were rewarded with a breakaway try from Jane Morris.

The home side now had the advantage of the wind at their backs and were able to put in some raking kicks, keeping Harlow pinned in their own twenty two. Chesham were now enjoying a significant amount of time in Harlow’s territory, even with the visitors enjoying their two player advantage. The game began to be soured by accusations of foul play from the Harlow side, who actually seemed to be the source themselves. Chesham began to suffer from refereeing decisions, including a penalty for a high tackle against Jenni Balmer, who was actually the ball carrier. At this point the referee informed the captains that any hand-offs or high tackles would immediately be punished by a yellow card.

As the game drew to a close Harlow’s two player advantage began to show, as they used their overlap to score another pair of tries. Despite the loss, Chesham Women put in a tremendous effort against a team that played dirty, despite their numerical advantage. “The girls put their bodies on the line in a very physical game, and kept their discipline despite our opposition resorting to some dirty tactics” said Boorman. “I’m really pleased with the way that we’ve improved our tackling and defence over the last few the games and hope that we can carry this on into the season.”

The side can be encouraged by a determined performance and a dogged defensive effort. The return match will be much anticipated by Chesham, especially if they can gather a full team for the game, augmented by players who have been showing at training. Chesham also look forward to celebrating their 20th season on Saturday night with an event that sees some previous players returning to the club.

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