The NLD U15 & U18 squads visited Peterborough on Sunday 30th November for the last of their matches this season. Both age groups faced strong opposition from East Midlands, who, at U15’s, ran NLD close at the festival earlier on in October and Leicestershire who are always excellent opposition.
The NLD U18’s played 2 very competitive matches back to back scoring in both and, even though they were the youngest of the 3 U18’s squads there, put up a very spirited defence all afternoon. Despite losing both matches to more experienced, older squads there were a lot of positives to be taken from the day with positive team work and some strong individual play. With a friendly match and development days planned after Christmas the only way is up for this young squad.
A special mention and thank you should be made to the two East Midlands Physios who attended one of our players, keeping her safe until the ambulance arrived; to Steph our physio, who was kept busy throughout the afternoon, and to Neil Speechley, (U18’s Manager),who accompanied our injured player to hospital.
The U15’s also played back to back games facing East Midlands first. It was apparent from the start that the NLD girls had their game heads on and came out with a strong determination to win. Their physical superiority in the scrum and breakdown and speed in the backs saw the score line climb to 20 v 0 at the final whistle.
Buoyed by their earlier success, and with that perfect score almost in their grasp, the NLD girls then walked out to face a fresh Leicestershire side. The first half saw a fierce contest in the breakdown and some impressive scrummaging from both sides however with the clock ticking NLD turned up the heat and scored a flurry of tries just before half time. With the expectation of greatness and the lure of certain immortality looming our girls stepped onto the pitch and played as though their very lives depended on winning. Though visibly tiring they battled to the end and with the final whistle blown NLD were the victors 30 v 5.
This season NLD U15’s have played in the CB festival, a friendly against Staffordshire and 3 CB matches and won them all taking their Match Win total for this season to 8 from 8. Is this what they mean by “a Perfect Storm”?
Well done to ALL the girls who have trained and played this season; you have proved to, even the most ardent of skeptics, that girls can play rugby. Thank you to the NLD support staff you know who you are; to ALL the coaches who have worked their magic and given their time and efforts to make this season happen and to the parents who taxi our players from match to match and spend their Sunday afternoons standing in a field somewhere in middle England cheering us on.
Neither should we forget the 50+ girls and their coaches who have done sterling work to create this season’s success story that is the NLD U13’s girls. Let’s keep it rolling on.
Watch this space……………………………………….there is more to come!
NLD W&G’s Chair