The joint Combe, Beckenham and Old Alleynians side were in a winner takes all match in the pools stages of the Nat Girls cup.
On 13th September a full squad of 22 girls traveled to Medway, confident that they had prepared well for a very competitive match. Playing up a small hill and against the wind, Medway fumbled the ball from the K.O, giving Bec/Combe/OA an attacking platform deep into Medways half. The scrum was lost as would be a continues problem through the first half. Then started a rear guard action, where periods of defense were only broken by occasional possession and counter attacks. For the majority of the ½, the defense was holding solid, despite conceding 5m scrums and penalties near their own line. While BECOAWCP, were obviously under pressure there was a growing confidence within the team and supporters that Medway could be held and if passion could be retained, a breakout was possible. The decisive score of the first half came right at the end of the half. From another 5m scrum, Medway’s attack blind side was initially repelled but they recycled possession twice and finally crossed the line. Half time 5 to 0, not a bad position, noting the conditions.
2nd half, started well with a scrum back on half way. Following some discussion at ½ time, the scrum was improved and by the end of the game BECOAWCP were winning their own ball comfortably and so commenced a period of attack in Medway ½. The key moment of the match came when BECOAWCP were awarded a penalty on Medway 10m line. Abby king, clearly protecting an injury to her elbow, ran forward from full back to take a trade mark quick tap penalty and ran though Medway defence to within 5m of the try line losing her boot in the process and further injuring her elbow. Medway to their credit scrabbled well and re took possession and after a few phases, made the telling line brake sprinting from their own 22m line to under the post. Abby was forced to leave the field injured and replaced by Funto. For the rest of the match, neither side was able to dominate possession and territory sufficiently to add to the scores.
In such a heavy defensive display it is hard to pick out individuals for outstanding performance as all 22 squad members tackled like Demons, maintained an effective defensive line and often counter rucked effectively to regain possession. In the first half all attacks down the wings were snuffed out by excellent defense with Funto tackling most effectively, supported by cover tackles by forwards, most notably by Emily Jackson and Charlotte miller, 2 very mobile front row forwards. From 5m scrums, Abby King full back and Polly Roberts Flank forwards, stopped the powerful Medway No. 8 forward, on a number of occasion. At 10 and 12, Rosanna and Olivia respectively formed a solid defensive line and were not fooled by loops and switches, performed by the very capable opposition. At number 8 the every present Lucy Turner disrupted Medway continuously and in the 2nd 1/2 started carrying the ball forward very effectively also. Finally player of the match performance was possibly by Sasha for her constant pressure and harassment of the opposition forcing many mistakes, particularly in the final parts of the game showing great fitness levels.
Medway go through from the pool having won 2 from 2 and BECOAWCP came a creditable 2nd have had a bonus point win against Dartfordians and picking up a losing bonus point against Medway.
Updated 19:12 - 8 Mar 2019 by Graham Seppings