Match Report: Womens 1st XV vs West Park Leeds

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Last Sunday saw Blackheath Women face the most formidable championship side in the North of England, West Park Leeds. With over 900 points scored on their way to Championship North victory, we knew we were in for a challenge. However, as the teams took to the field, on the back of three cup wins in a row, it was Blackheath who were the in form side.

And, almost from the kick off, Blackheath had the upper hand, securing a turnover after only a couple of carries from the visitors. Things were looking good for Club.

Dominating possession, there was soon an opportunity for Blackheath to score. With a well drilled move from the backs, fullback Tahnika Talbot (newly returned from a traumatic finger injury) was the first to dot the ball down over the whitewash. A conversion attempt from Lyndsay Whitley was pushed just wide of the post, perhaps owing to the terrible wind conditions.

Despite Blackheath’s control in attack, our defence, which had been a hallmark of our cup campaign, seemed somewhat lacklustre, reliant on a few brilliant individuals including a newly returned Captain Frankie Newby and flanker Janet Okolie to do the heavy lifting. Eventually, strong carries and good distribution from West Park Leeds led them to equal the score. This time, their conversion stopped short of the posts, taking the score to 5-5. And, up until the 60 minute mark, it seemed like that would be the final score. Captain Frankie tackled, jackled and kicked her way around the pitch, but to no avail as West Park Leeds demonstrated their prowess at holding people put time and again. And although Club’s scrums pushed them all over the field, neither side could put anymore points on the board.

But, in the final quarter, West Park Leeds turned on the after burners and solid hands to their quick backs led to two tries in the last twenty minutes, putting an end to Blackheath’s cup final dreams (at least for this season). Final score: Blackheath 5 – 19 West Park Leeds.

It has been a brilliant season for Blackheath Women with our first team securing their highest finish in over a decade and our second team competing in a cup semi final and building on some strong performances in the league. We will come back next year, knowing that we have what it takes to be the best side in the country and the best set up in the country. A big thank you to all our coaches, supporters and sponsors who have helped make this season so brilliant, we hope to see you all again next year

Tim Brindle

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