With a late change of venue due to the weather conditions DMP welcomed Wasps to the excellent facilities at Durham University (thanks Durham)
The 3G pitch gave both teams a fast surface to play on, unfortunately the depleted shark’s squad were without their speed machines Ruth Laybourn and Jen Lloyd Edwards who were both injured after their Herculean efforts in the previous match against Bristol.
The starting line-up therefore was shuffled with Katy Mattinson coming in at 9 for her first premiership start and Fi Davidson moving to 6 a position she excelled at against Bristol.
Katy McLean again made the long journey from her England training base to join her team mates for a game which would be hard fought as Wasps would be looking for revenge as DMP took the points in the reverse fixture earlier on in the season.
A late kick off sees Katy McLean get the game under way, in the first five minutes it was obvious both teams wanted to play attacking rugby as they battled for superiority, DMP pushed for the early breakthrough as they worked the ball deep into Wasps half, fantastic defence from Wasps kept DMP at bay, DMP kept the pressure on as the ball was moved quickly down the line a try looked certain but the final pass was intercepted, Wasps ran the length of the pitch only to be stopped from scoring by an excellent cover tackle by Mackenzie Thomas. The game continued at the same frenetic pace it was fairly even with both teams having a share of the possession Wasps increased the pressure on DMP forcing their way up the pitch through their forwards Claire Purdy got her hands on the ball and forced her way over for a try which was converted leaving the score DMP 0 Wasps 7.
DMP responded well to the try, improving their line speed to increase the pressure on the Wasps back line, this tactic paid dividends as Rachael Phillips intercepted a pass and raced deep into Wasps half the ball was recycled and taken on by Amy Needham who powered her way forward a quick recycle again saw the ball into Katy McLean’s hands, showing a great turn of speed and fantastic footwork she danced her way through the Wasps defence and over the try line, which wasn’t converted leaving DMP 5 Wasps 7 with 16 minutes on the clock.
Wasp’s tactic was to kick and chase to turn DMP at the earliest opportunity knowing that DMP didn’t have real pace on the wings to run the ball back, this kept DMP under constant pressure. Abbie Scott who was having another excellent game made a superb break in the middle of the park to run a full 30 metres before being brought down the ball was secured passed out through the backs but was unfortunately knocked forward when a try looked certain.
DMP now had their tails up the backs were moving the ball superbly, they created an opening, they looked to score another try only for the whistle to go and the play to be brought back for a forward pass. Wasps responded with a great break down the right wing only to be stopped by a crunching tackle by captain George Roberts who looked very fetching in her white scrum cap.
With 2 mins left Wasps found themselves deep into DMP territory a surging run saw them over the try line under the posts which was converted the half ended DMP 5 Wasps 14.
Wasps got the second half under way and immediately made an impact, as they increased their intensity, the pressure told as they scored out on the right hand side which wasn’t converted leaving the score DMP 5 Wasps 19
As always with the girls in the DMP side you expect them to respond and they didn’t disappoint. Fi Davidson was everywhere as she started to dominate with her 5th turnover of the game. Wasps continued to pressure DMP as they pushed deep into DMPs half but sheer tenacity from every DMP player ensures Wasps didn’t capitalise on their possession.
With 20 minutes to go a changes were made by DMP as Emma Lloyd Edwards and the much missed Julie Hope were introduced to the fray. This seemed to galvanise the DMP girls, an excellent break by Ruth Nash saw her race 25metres up the pitch only for the support not to get to her and the ball was turned over.
With the quick hands of Scholes and McLean and the added pace of Julie Hope DMP began to enjoy greater possession in the Wasps half, with 15 minutes to go this pressure told when the excellent Abbie Scott forced her way over the line to score which wasn’t converted leaving the score DMP 10 Wasps 19.
DMP continued to pile on the pressure, Wasps worked hard to keep DMP at bay but the pressure told as Wasps gave away a penalty, George Roberts decided to go for the posts, up stepped Katy McLean to slot a superb kick to make the score DMP 13 Wasps 19. With 10 minutes to go.
DMP had all the pressure, the Wasps girls showed great determination to keep them at bay with DMP camped 5 metres from Wasps try line. Tamara Taylor drove on her forwards as they tried to force their way over the line only to be prevented by determined Wasps defence. Despite the pressure Wasps held out as the final whistle went leaving the final score DMP 13 Wasps 19.
With leaders all over the pitch the Man of the Match award goes again to the whole squad, despite the injuries and the depleted squad this DMP team show once again what team spirit is all about.
It was Mackenzie Thomas last game this season for Shark’s as she is heading home to Canada to spend Christmas with her family, all the best Mackenzie to you and your family from everyone at Sharks hurry back soon.
DMP Durham Sharks
|13/12/2014||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2014-15|
|The Northern Echo Arena|
|The Northern Echo Arena, Neasham Road, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 1DL|