Topsham Ladies v Chard Ladies 10-02-19
By Katie Lunnon
Topsham push further ahead at the top of the table after beating Chard 51-15
Topsham Ladies proved why they’re top of the table with an emphatic 51-15 win over Chard this weekend. Running in 9 tries, 7 in the first half, the women showed how much they wanted the win after drawing their previous encounter with the opposition in January.
Chard didn’t even have time to take a breath from kick off when Meg Coombes plucked the ball out of the air and cut her way though the opposition, opening up the defence with ease and allowing a sublime series of offloads to release Emily Owen who had the finishing pace to score within the first minute.
Two minutes later a similar pattern of play and smart organisation by the home side saw Laura Harris, playing out of position, at front row, charge through the gain line and score under the posts. With a comfortable 14-0 lead, Topsham looked to set their composure and control the game by maintaining the majority of the possession. Which they did in style, showing some of the best rugby the crowd had seen them play all season.
Fifteen minutes in and it was the back’s opportunity to turn the screw. Chiefs academy player, Chelsea Howard, created her own space with a cheeky run out wide to score, followed 4 mintues later by the points hoarder of the season, Rebecca Partridge. Fly half Ann Webb already had 2 conversions to her name but finished off a great passage of play to take the try count to 5 after just 20 minutes of play.
Partridge and Harris added 2 further tries to the tally taking the home sides points to 41 but Chard weren’t to be silenced. Given the score, they could’ve dropped their heads but instead showed tenacity in the scrum and after the forwards drove several, well fought breakdowns over the gain line, flanker Laura Jenkins touched down just inside the second half.
The second half was to be a totally different affair. Partridge achieved her hatrick with a trademark dash around the outside and Coombes powered her way over the line with 10 minutes to play. However, Topsham’s women sat back for the majority and despite keeping up the tempo and maintaining their defence against a very physical opposition, lost some of their composure. Chard exploited this lapse in concentration and twice went over the line, both times after a series of penalties from Topsham. The second half saw the two teams draw 10-10; a completely different show from the first half, giving the topsham team something to consider before going into the next league fixture against Minehead in a fortnight. Despite this though, the team performed superbly and Tasha Currie proved why she’s essential in the 7 shirt by selflessly taking out the chard number 10 at every opportunity! Captain Corinne Walsh also put in a great show at 12, running strong lines drawing the defence in number to create space out wide, both players received the play of the match honours alongside Laura Harris who yet again proved her strength and versatility in the scrum and helped the team start with the confidence they so desperately needed against such a physically strong opposition.
Chard should be commended for their passion and grit. The scoreline at half time could easily destroy a team’s spirit but they weren’t to be defeated and their character and determination showed in the second half. A real credit to their club.
Topsham are nearing the end of the league season, with 3 games left to play, however they continue to recruit but new and experienced players as they work towards promotion. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.