11th November 2012
Albion Ladies lost at home to Bristol II Ladies this weekend by a narrow 3 point margin. The top of the table clash between Bristol (top of the Championship South West 2) and Albion Ladies (second in the table) was always set to be a close contest.
Plymouth Albion started aggressively, determined not to be beaten at home. Getting the better of the visitors, Albion kept position from the get go and pinned Bristol into their 22. Within the first ten minutes, Albion were rewarded with the start they were after when quick ball from the forwards on the right hand side of the pitch was cleared quickly to exploit an overlap on the left hand side for winger Sonia Clatworthy to score. The try was converted by outside centre Caitlin Short.
Bristol demonstrated why they are currently dominating the league soon after with some dangerous attacking runs from their centres. Bristol’s winger created a gap on the outside and exploited it to score under the posts, subsequently converted to bring the scores level at 7-7.
Albion ladies demonstrated why they are still contenders for the top spot of the league table with some of their best play yet this season, combining strong running from the forwards, particularly by prop Donna Downes, with some flowing moves in the backs. Another dominant period of attacking play saw No 10 Lucy Demaine capitalise to run through Bristol’s centres to score on the right wing.
Just minutes from half time, Bristol responded with their second try for their winger, again using her speed to exploit a gap on the left wing. Both tries unconverted, the half time score was 12 apiece.
The second half was just as nail-biting as the first with Bristol and Albion in a stalemate for the first 20, both teams being foiled by the defence of the other. Some great tackling by substitutes Saskia Penrose at second row and Bobby Wilson on the flank saw Bristol’s attempts around the ruck thwarted and Albion save a try by holding up Bristol’s attempt on the line, preventing the opposition from going head. However, an indisgression around the ruck area saw Albion concede a penalty within striking distance of the posts. Bristol took the opportunity to kick the 3 points which were ultimately to secure their victory. Soon after, their winger was again to score, putting Bristol further ahead.
Not a team to give up, Albion showed great spirit to pressure to the end, still threatening to overturn Bristol’s advantage. No 10 Lucy Demaine again rounded the Bristol defence to score on the right wing. Bristol had to defend their try line in the dying minutes to ensure their victory and the whistle blew before Albion could score the last elusive try. Final score Bristol 20 – Albion Ladies 17.
Albion now have 2 weeks off before they play bottom of the table side Chipping Sodbury where they hope to win convincingly and restore some confidence. The league then breaks for Christmas, recommencing again in January.