Rugby: Wymondham Ladies hold on for good away victory
Wellingborough Ladies 12, Wymondham Wasps Ladies 14
Wymondham travelled to unbeaten Wellingborough for this top of the table clash.
Wellingborough dominated the early exchanges with a powerful set-piece display, strong running and their possession advantage was obvious as a result.
Powerful Wellingborough runs were repelled time and again by a strong defence. A quickly-taken penalty awarded to the home side five metres from Wymondham's line allowed the ball to be passed to the centre who crashed through under the posts, despite the attention of two Wymondham players. The conversion was missed.
After rallying calls from Wymondham captain Taylor, the team fronted up with renewed vigour and determination and although the set piece still proved difficult their own ball began to come back. After some good quick ball the backs were unleashed and a break was on from Crowther with Eldridge and Perry in close support. The ball being passed both in and out saw the covering defence perplexed as to whom to tackle next. However, a forward pass thwarted what looked to be an inevitable try. Play continued with Wymondham dogged in defence, occasionally breaking out with pace and precision passing.
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Just before the end of the half a last-pass error following good interplay from Crowther, Perry and Eldridge spoiled what should have been a well-earned try. With two minutes of the half to go and Wymondham five metres from the home side's line an injury halted play, the Wellingborough full-back suffering a serious lower leg injury. At the resumption of play Wymondham applied the pressure and won a penalty, but still could not breach the Wellingborough defence. The half-time score was 5–0 in favour of Wellingborough.
Having repelled what looked to be an irresistible force and built some good play in the first half Wymondham entered the second half with increased confidence and resolution. The ball was won and recycled and eventually the Wellingborough defence narrowed, opening the space for the fleet-footed Crowther to score under the posts. The conversion was scored by Kaciubskyj and Wymondham had the lead for the first time in the game. at 5-7.
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The lead was only held for five minutes as the Wellingborough forwards won good ball which was shipped to the 10 who executed a scissor perfectly with the inside centre who evaded the wrong footed would be tacklers to score under the posts. Conversion scored and the lead again in the hands of the home side, at 12-7.
Play continued to ebb and flow with Wellingborough's strong runners being tackled time and again. Quick reactions from Dyche, Taylor, Pigg and Kaciubskyj won turnover ball time and again and the pace and skill of the Wymondham backs made ground repeatedly. Despite incisive running from Crook and Sweetman, Wymondham could not cross the line until an inside ball to Walsh whose power and pace created an opportunity only to be denied by a cover tackle preventing the ball being grounded.
Eventually Wymondham got the ball to Crowther who found the space to run around a narrow defence and had just enough pace, running up the hill, to score under the posts once more to tie the game at 12-12 with a conversion to follow. Tense moments followed as Kaciubskyj lined up for the kick. Despite a committed charge from the home side the kick found its target and bisected the uprights - Wymondham had taken the lead with four minutes to go.
The last four minutes epitomised the Wymondham attitude and commitment on the day. Resolute defence, support running and absolute belief carried Wymondham across the line two points ahead of the previously unbeaten Wellingborough team.
Squad: Lockwood, Hanser, Bendall, Spruce, Lewin, Kibblewhite, Pigg, Elliott, Dyche, Taylor, Walsh, Gomez, Kaciubskyj, Eldridge, Crowther, Perry, Sweetman, Crook.