Bristol Ladies fell to a narrow defeat this afternoon as Lichfield Ladies claimed a 13 -15 victory at the Portway Rugby Development Centre.
Both teams were evenly matched during the first half, with Debs Fleming (14) breaking though the Lichfield defense and storming the length of the pitch to score the first points of the day. Lichfield responded with a period of pressure in the Bristol 22, finally resulting in a score of their own through Becky Williams (1).
Soon after Sydney Gregson (12) and Claire Molloy (7) teamed up with some fantastic cross field play to send Molloy crashing over the try line, only to have Lichfield level the score just before half time (Nicholas, 15). The moments before half time saw an injury force Devon Holt (9) off the pitch with Sian Moore as her replacement, and Debs Fleming (14) yellow carded for being offside at the ruck.
With the score 10 -10 at half time, Bristol made one substitution, which saw returning World Cup winner Amber Reed (10) replaced with Amy Wilson Hardy (19) – both in Bristol shirts for the first time this season.
Abbie Brown (13) scored a vital penalty on 54 minutes to take Bristol back in front. Lichfield Ladies stepped up the pace for the next 20 minutes, capitalizing on several Bristol errors, continually pushing forward and they were rewarded with a try on 71 minutes (Jones, 10). Bristol were thrown a lifeline as Lichfield were penalized for not rolling away, however Abbie Brown skewed the penalty slightly wide of the posts.
The last 5 minutes saw the Bristol girls pick up the pace, with solid phases of play and extended periods of pressure in the opposition 22. Unfortunately several inaccuracies and near misses meant the whistle blew at full time, with the score remaining 13 -15.
Assistant Coach Pete Reakes was at the helm this week, leading coaching staff on the sidelines. ‘It was a frustrating game which we should have won. The silence in the huddle at the end said it all – the girls knew they should have come away with the win. It was a good game, and Lichfield kept coming at us. We put them under pressure in the last 10 minutes, but we weren’t able to utilize this at all. We didn’t execute the things we worked on in training, like identifying the overlap and finishing out the phases’.
Amber Reed captained the team on her first run out in a Bristol shirt after the World Cup ‘It’s great to be back and play with such talented players in the team, although I am now the second oldest starting back after Mason (at only 23!). It was a frustrating result – we did the hard work and created chances but poor execution on the final pass meant the result went the other way. We’ll build on this performance, take the positives and work on the negatives, to turn the result around against Worcester. We drew 18-18 in that fixture last year, it’ll be a tough game but we’re up for the challenge’.
Bristol Bears Women
|19/10/2014||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2014-15|
|Portway Rugby Development Centre|
|Portway Rugby Development Centre, Portway, Sea Mills, Bristol, BS9 2HS|