Birmingham Women’s 1sts Rugby power to victory over a resilient Nottingham
The match kicked off with a chill and cloud around and a smattering crowd had gathered at Bournbrook. The Birmingham Women’s 1sts rugby struck first blood within the first minute of the match with the very impressive Heather Cowell. This was after quick passing along the backline with Bennion heavily involved. Cowell converted her own try and the Lionesses lead 7-0.
Nottingham then struck back through their forwards who produced a lovely offloading game throughout. A try was scored out wide and the conversion was missed.
15 minutes into the first half Birmingham scored again, this time with inside centre Zoe Bennion. After Nottingham conceded a penalty from a scrum, the Lionesses took a quick tap penalty. Bennion glided through the weak Nottingham defence to score. Cowell converted the try and the score was 14-5.
The 1st half finished with another try for both sides. Nottingham struck with more forwards offloading the ball out of the tackle. The try was unconverted and the game looked for the first time a tense affair for the home side. However, Heather Cowell was on the end of a sublime try. The Lionesses pressing the tryline again, when Zoe Bennion put a lovely cross-field kick in behind the Nottingham defence and Cowell pounced on the ball. The first half finished 19-10.
The second half started strongly for Nottingham who scored a try within the first 5 minutes. Birmingham then hit back with another try in the far corner, making the score 24-15. For a long time in the second half the play swayed one way to the other. And then out of nowhere, from a scrum outside of the Birmingham 22, Heather Cowell went ¾ of the length of the field throwing dumbies like Phil Bennett and scoring in spectacular fashion. Cowell converted her try and the score was no 31-15.
Birmingham then took a stronghold of the game and with 10 minutes left to go, another try was scored for the Lionesses. The Lionesses moved the ball from one side of the field to the other and some lovely passing finished with Partridge scoring in the corner.
Nottingham would have the last word scoring a try right at the end of the match. The try was converted and the score was 36-22. The Lionesses will be pleased to come out on top of their table rivals for the Westmidlands 1A league. They do have to work on their defence however, especially stopping the offloading out of contact zone. Their first up tackling technique also needs improve to prevent easy yards gained by the opposition.
The up shot is that the Lionesses just need one more win to become overall champions of the league. However, they’ll see the next two games as crucial practice games for the qualifiers they have to play to be in the top flight of rugby next season.