This week North ladies faced Penybanc Panthers in the quarter final of the Women’s Super Cup. A sunny day at Hailey park provided ideal conditions for both teams to fight hard for a place in the semi final.
Both teams started aggressively but it was the home side that crossed the white wash first with some superb handling skills from fullback Caryl James releasing winger Elleanor O’Connell for her first score for North Ladies making it 5-0 to the home side. The Panthers hit back with force but when North took a scrum against the head on the Panthers 5 meter line, they took the opportunity for the backs to use their pace and captain Becky Newton crossed in the corner 10-0 to the home side.
From the restart the Panthers carried the ball hard breaking through the North defence, but pressure from the home side saw the ball turned over. With the North back on the attack it wasn’t long before they worked up the field and centre Elin Huxtable to cross for North’s 3rd score. Fly half Robyn Wilkins added the extras making it 17-0 to the home side.
With the wind behind them North were on the attack once more and after a period of possession shifting back and forth between the two teams the north backs spread the ball wide and winger Elleanor O’Connell crossed for her second try making it 22-0 to the home side.
The Panthers did not let up and with ball in hand they were dangerous on the attack making good inroads to the North 22. An infringement at the ruck area gave the panthers a penalty in the 22 which they slotted cleanly between the posts, 22-3 to the home side.
After the restart the home side was determined to keep their score board ticking over with the forwards providing a good platform for the backs it wasn’t long before full back Caryl James crossed the line, with a successful kick from Robyn Wilkins it was 29-3 to the home side.
With half time fast approaching the Panthers were determined to have the final word before the half. They broke through the North defence but were stopped short of the line. With a successful turnover by the North forwards the home side were on the attack again. A quick tap penalty in the Panthers 22 for not rolling allowed the North backs to break through the line and winger Elleanor O’Connell crossed in the corner for her hat trick. North went in to the half 34-3 in the lead.
With the wind in their backs in the second half Penybanc started strong utilising the advantage of the elements. With a fantastic line break from the Penybanc centres they took the first score of the 2nd half 34-10. From the restart Penybanc continued the pressure on the North defence and once again crossed in the corner 34-15.
Determined to regain control the North forwards went on the attack with young Prop Amy Thomas running hard and making good ground. With a few quick rucks North no 10 Robyn Wilkins crossed in the corner 39-15 to the home side.
From the restart Penybanc fought hard to get a foothold in the game with both teams maximising every opportunity to strike but once again it was the home side who made the break through centre Jolee Gregory and offload to no 9 Becky Newton who was held up in the corner, determined to score and with a penalty on the 5 meter line Newton charged for the line once more this time securing the grounding 44-15 to the home side.
From the restart North had all the momentum the forwards set up a good platform to release Jolee Gregory who this time made it over the line 49-15 to the home side.
With the end of the second half soon approaching Penybanc were determined to have the last word, with the backs cutting through the north defence to release the Penybanc prop 29-20. With only enough time for the restart everyone thought the game was over but a turn over from Penybanc released their centre who crossed under the posts to finish the game on a high 49-27 to the North.
North ladies will now play big rivals Skewen Ladies on the 26th April at Hailey park 2:30 KO.