Good performance at 7's for U18 girls
By Dave Phillips
Despite the clocks
Despite the clocks changing and Mothers Day we managed to take 9 players to the Kent 7's at Medway. Knowing we were going to face tough competition the girls were in good spirits and prepared for their first match against tough opposition in Tunbridge Wells. The match started and as usual we took a little time to get into our stride in a format of the game we are not over familiar with and soon we were under pressure from the impressive T Wells team and despite some good tackling from Karis, Ramat and Lola it was our positioning and organisation which were lacking and opponents took full advantage of this scoring 3 quick tries. We got into the match with Emily D taking the ball on well supported by Jasmine and Thelma but good defence stopped us getting across the line. Poppy was in the thick of it but unfortunately she received a blow to the nose whilst putting in a great tackle and had to leave the field. Jasmine also received an injury so we were quickly using our two subs. Rhea came on for her first exprience of 7's and was immediately in action. Darts ended the half 4 tries down but came out in the second half with confidence and Evie V playing at scrum great runs from Lola Emily Karis and Thelma. In the second half Evie was getting the ball intot he backs quickly and our first score came from a strong run from Ramat. T Wells were still looking dangerous and despite brave defence good play was manipulating space which was exploited well by our opponents who scored a further two tries . This didn't faze Darts who went on to score another good try with strong running again from Ramat which gave Darts a share of the second half.
Our second match was against Colfeians who had familiar faces in their team in Aimee, Libby and Maddy all with links to the club and DGS. It was a cagey opening to the match and Colfes were the first to score against the run of play when they picked up a loose ball close to their line and kept good control with support runners moving up the field to score a great try. Darts hit back when the impressive Ramat scored another
following great runs from Evie and Rhea. Darts were exerting a lot of pressure on Colfes who were defending well but some powerful runs from Karis and Emily D pushed the team forward and it was skipper Lola who powered her way over the line to give Darts the win.
We had a tough match now against a big powerful Medway team who were very good at keeping the ball live and this gave them the opening score when we just simply ran out of players. Jasmine and Thelma were both powerful with ball in hand and this put us on the front foot and gave us the equalising try through Karis. Medway continued to show great skills and took the lead again with their interplay moving our defence around. Another strike back from Darts when all the players dug really deep to give Ramat another well worked try. Both teams were going all out for the win and it was Medway who made the breakthrough when a loose ball was pounced upon and it looked like a second loss for Darts. The spirit in the team is very strong and the girls worked incredibly hard showing great skill to keep control of the ball and it was Emily D who went over for the equalising score. A great match with a draw being a fair result.
Our last match saw us against Alleynians and we started really well putting on good pressure and from a great drive started from our own line line it was Rhea who grabbed the ball and ran determindly from half way to score. Alleynians were not deterred and came back at Darts and eventually were not to be denied and scored a great try to level the scores. It was a really tight match with Darts slightly in the ascendancy but neither side wanted to lose and tackled for their lives. Poppy had come back after her injury and made a couple of good breaks and pop passes but all the good work seemed to be to no avail when right at the death it was Evie V who made a lovely break to score the winning try.
A great day out and a well organised and enjoyable tournament. All the girls played really well and were very tired by the end of the day. Two wins a draw and a loss was a good return for all the effort everyone of the nine players put in. Player of the day went to Ramat whose destructive tackling and try scoring kept the team confident and fighting throughout every match