Darts started slowly in their Area Cup semi final match against Pulborough conceding two tries from mistakes in their own half which were pounced upon by the very good Pulborough side. The visitors who had just beaten Cobham 17-0 in the first match looked as though they were going to take the game easily until Darts got into their rythmn. Led by skipper Lola they really pushed hard and got back into the match with the forwards dominating at the breakdown area and tackling everything Pulborough could throw at them . Tierney ,Megan and Jasmine were formidable in the front row always being willing carriers of the ball and making ground every time. They were backed up when the Darts pod was working really well and the organisation kept Pulborough on the back foot. Elizabeth and Emily and Lara were tackling really hard and this allowed Karis to get in and turn the ball over. The confidence was growing and the backs were also looking to keep the ball live and Lilly and Ewa were controlling play well alternating between the power game and a quick passing style of rugby. As usual Lizzie was extremely powerful taking the ball on and Anna was using her speed and footwork to try and get behind the visitors defensive line. Pulborough had a great attacking threat themselves but crucial tackles by Izzy and Faith stopped any further incursions. Holly was coming into the line with some powerful runs but Darts couldn't make a breakthrough. In the second half Ramat came on at flanker and Lola went to prop to replace Jasmine who had a fine runout coming back from injury. Unfortunately Elizabeth was injured and ever reliable Georgia came on the 2nd row. The scene was pretty much the same with Darts on the attack and after some great driving rugby Pulborough just couldn't stem the tide and Tierney was very strong going over from close range. It was really game on but the quality of Pulborough again was sen when they put together some lovely rugby and went 17-5 ahead. This just seemed to strengthen Darts who through everything at Pulborough and with hard driving play from Karis Lola and Ramat pushed play deep into the opposition half. It was frantic stuff and despite the weather both teams were a credit to the game with no quarter given at any time. Lara was continuing to be everywhere and Evie who had come on for Izzy had a couple of strong runs but the defence held firm. Eventually a try was forthcoming and it was Darts who made the breakthrough when some great play produced a fabulous try. Although the execution was relatively simple for a player like Lizzie it was the build up play that really caught the eye. Ewa converted which took the score to 17-12. Darts had a couple of minutes to score again and they tried really hard to get over the line but Pulborough were equally as defiant in defence and although strongly on the front foot Darts couldn't quite make it.
A great match by both teams and maybe with a few more minutes Darts may have managed the win but all credit to Pulborough who produced some great rugby throughout the day and deserved to go through to the Final.
Some great performances from Darts with all players performing to a high standard but Player of the Match went to Lara who was strongly pushed by skipper Lola.
Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Crab Football
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.