Sunday 12th October saw the NLD U15 & U18 Girls squads head to Lutterworth RFC for the Midlands Festival.
NLD U15’s – Midlands Champions!!
NLD took the whole squad of 25 U15 girls, selected from an initial 45 girls who went to trials and training in September.
The girls warmed up in anticipation and started their campaign with an opening match against Leicestershire. Aggressive, attacking play from the start saw NLD dominating Leicester in the middle of the field and putting their wings to good use with strong runs resulting in a try from Kate Davis-Bavin, (Newark). Leicestershire countered with a try to even the score just before halftime. The second half saw NLD on the attack and a looping run from Alexandra Clack, (Newark), converted by Jessica Weaver, (Newark) saw NLD regain the lead. Strong defence saw NLD finish the game victors 12-5.
East Midlands provided NLD with strong opposition throughout the game taking the first points. Megan Warsop, (Ashfield), scored 2 tries with Kate Davis-Bavin, (Newark), converting. With a tenuous lead NLD had to dig deep to defend a strong attack resulting in a late second half try for East Midlands. The NLD girls lined up nervously to charge down the conversion, which turned out to be the last play of the game, watching as the ball failed to lift over the bar. NLD came away with a well-deserved but very close victory 12-10.
Staffordshire again provided NLD with a well contested game. Committed forwards play saw Madeline Crofts, (Newark), crash over the line to open NLD’s account. Strong runners were probing NLD lines and being repelled by committed defence from every NLD player; however a good line break saw Staffordshire even the score. A wonder display of linking centres saw Beth Leivers, (Ashfield), power over the line to take NLD to their 3rd victory of the day. 10-5
North Midlands contested well throughout but buoyed with their previous victories it was NLD’s game all the way. North Mids defended valiantly but with NLD playing varied, confident rugby, tries came from Megan Warsop, (Ashfield), Lucy Payne, (Ashfield), Alexandra Clack, (Newark), Hannah Sharp, (Newark), and a conversion from Jessica Weaver, (Newark) there was only one result; victory to NLD 22-0
With 4 wins from 4 the day ended with the U15’s being awarded winners medals and the Midlands U15’s Trophy. Although only the try scorers and kickers are named above it is down to each and every player giving their all, and every girl playing together as a team, that NLD came away winners. Do we have to give it back next year? Not without a battle!!
Thanks and recognition must go to the U15’s coaching staff Martin Kerrigan, (Head Coach), John Payne and Mark Dobbs. Not sure what it is you are doing guys but keep doing more of the same; you are doing a sterling job. Onwards and upwards!!!! Thanks’ also to our 2 physio’s who did a great job looking after not only NLD’s U15’s and U18’s but assisting where needed throughout the day.
A final thank you must go to RFU Simon Boyd and Lutterworth RFC for hosting the festival and the smooth running of the day and the excellent facilities. The bacon rolls were a must!!!
Report by Neil Clack
NLD U15 Girls Manager
The NLD U18 Girls squad for the 2014-15 season consists of 7 players who played last year at U18, 7 players moving up from U15 and 5 girls in their first year in the program.
The opening game saw NLD v Leicestershire in a hard fought and close encounter with Leicestershire winning with a single score in the last minute of the game.
East Midlands were the second team that the girls faced and they dominated the NLD girls who kept their heads up and fought all the way to the final whistle. Unfortunately during the game 3 players received injuries which ruled them out of the rest of the Festival.
Our third game saw the girls face Staffordshire, another hard fought match with NLD putting lots of pressure on the Staffs line but strong defence and a few errors from NLD meant a score was not forthcoming. Staffs’ outside pace was the undoing of NLD and gave them an excellent couple of breakaway tries.
Finally North Mids (tournament winners) met NLD and in yet another hard fought game we were unable to hold the opposition from scoring but continued fighting to the end unfortunately picking up another two injuries.
The opening of the U18’s season saw four defeats but also saw several players make very impressive starts to their NLD careers and players stepping up from U15 meeting the challenges head on.
Report by Neil Speechley
NLD U18 Girls Managr