By Beth Kenure
It was another wet and muddy match for the North ladies as they took the field at Hailey Park to face division 2 side Bargoed. With neither team having the benefit of subs, both sides had to work hard in the wet conditions.
A downpour of hail greeted kick off but this was not about to stop either side from trying to make an impact from the whistle. Bargoed carried hard from the kick off but it wasn’t long before the wet conditions saw the ball spilled forward and the scrummaging battle commence.
Both sets of forwards carried well but it was North flanker Beth Millett who crashed over the line for her first try for the side. With the wind in their sails North pack retained the ball and the backs provided a good platform to attack. A lot of running rugby and some good handling skills saw Captain Becky Newton cross the line twice in quick succession to make it 3 tries to 0 for the home side.
Bargoed put great pressure on The North from the restart but with the ball in the safe hands of 2nd row Nia Jones it wasn’t long until the ball was spread wide to no 9 Amberley Ruck who slid over in the corner for try no 4.
From the restart the North forwards looked to run with the ball but Bargoed were not to be discouraged. With a swift jackle they managed to regain possession and put north on the back foot. It was the strong arms of 2nd row Louise Cox who ripped the ball to retake possession for the home side and with a charge towards the line a try looked to be on the cards but she was brought down a few meters short. A few quick pick & go from the forwards and then a pop to fly half Elin Huxtable saw her crash over the line. With a successful conversion the half time whistle was blown with the Home team leading 27 to 0.
The second half started much the same as the first with both sets of forwards looking to keep ball in hand due to the wet and muddy conditions. Both sides were guilty of handling errors in these conditions and the scrum became a fiercely competitive area for both teams to try and regain possession.
After a successful scrum by the North and a quick ruck 2nd row Nia Jones bust through the line and made a fantastic break up the middle of the park only to be brought down short of the line, a swift offload to supporting runner Amberley Ruck and a pop off to captain Becky Newton saw her thunder over for her 3rd try of the game.
Not long after the restart 2nd row Nia Jones went off with a hand injury taking North down to 14 players. Shortly after, the North side conceded a try after some strong Bargoed attack, this was superbly converted by the Bargoed number 3. The game continued in similar fashion with continued handling errors followed by increasingly slippery scrums. A short period of Bargoed possession was ended by a sneaky jackle from hooker Beth Kenure who sustained a nasty knee injury in the contact and was forced off the pitch.
With North down to 13 you might have imagined the home side would concede more points but it was not to be, 2 further tries for North followed from centre Caryl James leaving the full time score 57 – 7. North’s next game is away to Blaenau Gwent on the 8th March