FOURTEEN months after their last match, Biggy Ladies were delighted to get back to winning ways in a friendly game away at Harpenden.

With a squad featuring nine players making their debut for the club (seven of them in their first ever game of rugby) Sunday’s match was the ideal opportunity to put into practice all the recent hard work done at training.

Biggy began brightly, overcoming strong defence by Harpenden in the first five minutes when Vicki Marshall broke through on a long run and passed to powerhouse outside centre Lauren Poole who scored the first try of the game, converted by fly-half Charlie Field.

From the Harpenden kick-off Laura Critchlow made a good charge through the opposition’s defensive line. Both sides were tackling hard, with Steph Cooper, Lauren Bartlett and Laura Searle all making big hits to keep Biggy’s defensive line resolute.

Gina Roby, swapping club physio duties for playing duties for the first time, stormed up to the halfway line before the move broke down.

Biggy were making line-breaks, with valuable metres gained by full back Harriet Gumble and then Anna Kolańczyk in a torpedo run.

The team were acquitting themselves well physically with some strong tackling. Plenty of ball-handling skills were also on show, including a class interception by Roby to win possession.

Claire Watson, in her first game as Captain, led from the front, finding a gap and storming 50 metres up the pitch.

Poole revved up her engine before half time to charge from behind her own half way line and ground the ball beneath the posts, with another Field conversion putting Biggleswade 14 points up at the break.

Harpenden were determined to pile on the pressure in the second half, intercepting a line-out and working the ball through the hands before being thwarted by a try-saving, pile-driver of a tackle from Poole.

Biggy’s defence worked tirelessly to stop Harps breaking through, with some excellent turnover rucking from Bev Horsefield typifying her team’s determination.

But Harps’ pressure finally told when they won their own line out and worked the ball over the line making the final score Harpenden 7-14 Biggleswade.

Forward of the match: Gina Roby
Back of the match: Charlie Field
Player of the match: Claire Watson
Photos by Sophie Earls

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