On a sunny, windy afternoon at Mellish RFC NLD Ladies kicked off their 2015-2016 season with a friendly against local rivals East Midlands.
The first 10 minutes saw both teams exchanging possession in the middle of the pitch with handling errors from both teams showing they were excited to play but still getting used to playing together. The game however was suddenly opened up with Bethan Arthur breaking through their defensive line and hand offs allowing her to reach their 22 metre line.
Possession still jumped between sides but East Midlands began to put in some linked phases towards the NLD try line and eventually scoring at the 15 minute mark.
NLD started to settle into their passing patterns and with some good work at a defensive breakdown so the ladies come away with the ball and move the ball sideways across the pitch to score in the opposite corner by Alex Clinkard from Amber Valley.
With East Midlands still showing they were a threat with the ball the ladies switched between attack and defensive showing desire to run with the ball, Ellen McGuiness managed to cut through their defensive line on the NLD 22 metre line and weave around their backs to pass to Jordan Bixley from West Bridgford to score.
As the game went on the forwards showed their strength at scrum time and in line outs, managing to then steal a ball from an East Midlands line out to link in with backs and scored in the opposite corner by Alex Clinkard from Amber Valley. A true team try.
With confidence building NLD began to dominate possession across the pitch, with backs and forwards interlinking and showing a desire to keep the ball alive with offloads in tackles and determined runs around the breakdown, showing the team was beginning to gell. After being settled in their half for a while supported by secure breakdowns and movement across the pitch, the halftime whistle blew.
The second half started well for NLD with a striking run down the edge of the field ending in what was thought to be a try, but was disallowed. This started a period of possession near the East Midlands try line ending with Tanya Bird from West Bridgford coming onto the field and scoring with her first touch of the ball.