Team Middlesex Match Reports
Team Middlesex Senior Women v Essex
|Date:||Saturday 7th May 2016|
|Venue:||East London RFC|
|Competition:||Women’s County Shield Pool Match|
|Result:||Essex 14, Team Middlesex 50|
Middlesex got their season back on track with a dominant performance over Essex at East London RFC. It was the hosts that started better however, after a mistake in the Middlesex defence Saracens winger Eloise Bloomfield ran in from 55 metres, the score was converted and Essex led 7-0.
This was the wakeup call Middlesex needed, after some sustained pressure debutant loose head Ruth McElroy burrowed over from close range but the conversion was missed. However Middlesex didn’t have to wait long to take the lead as Captain Alice Sheffield burst through four would be tacklers to go over with Tess Gardner adding the conversion.
Number 8 Liz Crake then put Middlesex in the driving seat with her first try of the county season, once again adding the extras. The pace of the game then slowed as a number of long stoppages slowed momentum, Middlesex failed to capitalise on the overwhelming pressure and spurned numerous chances to increase their lead.
The bonus point was secured five minutes from half time a bulldozing run from Anna Glyn-Davies led to her being stopped just short, the ball was recycled quickly and flanker Jo Szczyglowska went over from close range, Gardner converted and Middlesex led 26-7 at the break.
The second half started brightly as Liz Crake scored her second within one minute on the restart to extend the Middlesex lead, after this numerous chances went begging due to some mistimed runs and poor passes. Middlesex then produced an excellent multi-phase attack, strong carries from the forwards, particularly from Orla Hillary, Fran Hall and Sheffield led to the ball be spun wide for Rachel Parry to finish off the move converted by Gardner.
Middlesex then stretched their lead with another Sheffield try, her sixth in two games, and a twenty metre run in for open side Kasey Allen, the latter converted by scrum half Michaela Dorrian. After a raft of substitutions the game lost structure, but there was time for Essex winger Becky Francis to grab a 60 metre score despite the best efforts of Dorrian chasing her down. Middlesex finished 50-14 winners.
Double try scoring Captain Alice Sheffield said, “I’m proud of the team’s performance today. Following our game against Kent we were much stronger in defence, which improved our go forward when we had the ball. We had a lot more opportunity to attack which we executed well at times. Next week will be our toughest game, but if we can continue to build on this win against Essex, we stand ourselves in a very good position.”
Head coach Ross Boshier said added, “We gave a much better account of ourselves this week and got the result we deserved. This squad is growing in strength each week, and are more than capable of upsetting Surrey next Sunday.”
Ruth McElroy, Francisca Hall, Sara Bates, Alice Sheffield (capt), Orla Hillary, Johanna Szczyglowska, Kasey Allen, Liz Crake, Michaela Dorrian, Tess Gardner, Rachel Parry, Anna Glyn-Davies, Marissa Lowe, Chloe Atkinson, Rachel Berry.
Subs: Toni Roberts, Kanisola Adefemiwa-Afilaka, Rhiannon Palmer, Emma Davis, Debbie Suen, Sarah Masterson, Rose Dixon.
Tries: Crake 2, Sheffield 2, Allen, McElroy, Parry, Szczyglowska.
Conversions: Gardner 4, Dorrian.
Player of the Match: Liz Crake.