Ripon Bluebelles v Northallerton Ladies
By Jay Chester-Bristow
Continuing to go from strength to strength
The Bluebelles were the first of three senior teams to play against Northallerton this weekend with an early kick off. The weather was kind, being sunny and dry although that meant that the ground was going to be fairly unforgiving. The team welcomed some new players to the squad and had invited some from Osset to join in to help them get some game time.
From the kick off it became apparent that new comer Lerae Dodds was not going to let her inexperience stand in the way with a forty metre break on her first touch of the ball. This set the tone for the match with Ripon pushing Northallertons defence at every opportunity. A few phases by the forwards resulted in Kathryn Barrett breaking through the stretched Northallerton line to score the first try, to be converted by Claire Taylor.
From the restart Ripon gained ground with breaks from Jess Lane and Nikki Gill, resulting with a ruck 7 metres from the try line allowing Liv Ward to pick and go, scoring between the posts.
Northallerton, continued to fight back, keeping Ripon in their own half until a nicely timed pass by Sarah Winterschalden set Larae Dodds off for another run, this time resulting in a try.
Ripon kept the pressure on leading to a 5 metre scrum where Donna Chilcott picked from the base and was hauled down incehes sort but managed to reach out to score Ripons forth try.
Northallerton came back even stronger, showing tenacity and commitment, testing the Ripon defence consistently until they were able to break through to score their first of the match. Both teams playing hard until the half time whistle saw the score line at 26-7.
After a well deserved break the teams came back to the game with the same determination they had shown throughout the first half with the forwards defending and attacking with real vigour, allowing the backs opportunities in the created gaps to score a further 2 trys by Kathyrn Barrett and Lerae Dodds.
Not wanting to be out done by the backs the forwards dug in with excellent rucking and mauling resulting in Jamie Lawton (Osset) crashing over the line under the posts for the games final score, sealing the win for Ripon with the final score being 43-7.
This team continues to show improvement, their 2 year journey has seen them go from strength to strength, they have a fantastic attitude and are a great example of sports(wo)manship and willingness to learn new skills. They welcome new players of all abilities into the squad and are looking forward to continue their development next season by joining one of the local leagues.