5th January 2013
Albion ladies took on Reading at Brickfields in less the ideal conditions. An evening fixture under floodlights and in, at times, driving rain, the going underfoot was very muddy but Albion ladies managed to dominate the match, playing to their strengths and retaining the ball well in difficult conditions.
Albion have a good track record against Reading, having defeated them in their past 5 meeting. Yet, the fixture is never an easy one and Reading always push Albion to bring out their best match play. After the Christmas break, Albion were determined to make their mark on the league again and from the kick off attacked with strength. Within 5 minutes, the forwards had taken the ball in hand with 5 phases of play resulting in prop Donna Downes powering over the try line in front of the posts. No 10 Caitlin Short made the easy conversion. The next try came within the next 10 minutes with No 8 Alison Cooper exploiting the dogleg in Reading’s defence to cross the line with Short again converting.
Reading’s play in the proceeding 20 minutes was testament to their spirit as they kept the ball in their possession, making it difficult for Albion to mount any attacks. Yet, the Albion defence was spot on and despite their majority possession in the last 20 of the first half, Reading couldn’t break the Albion line and never threatened to score. At half time the score remained 14-0.
Albion regrouped in the second to gain control of the game. Some accurate kicking from No 10 Caitlin Short kept Reading pinned in their half and some controlled phases and well worked set pieces from penalty moves saw Albion dominate. The third try was a real crowd pleaser as full back Alex Smith showed off her pace down the wing from the half way, sidestepping 4 defenders to score in the corner. Albion’s control wore down the tiring Reading defence and the final 2 tries were easy run ins exploiting the overlap from No 8 Alison Cooper and flanker Verity Waters, with Short converting one of them.
The final score of 31-0 saw Albion kick off the New Year in good form and look forward to two away matches as Swindon Supermarines and Chipping Sodbury over the next two weekends.