Twelve weeks ago, on 14th January 2019, 96 Women from across the county came to trial for a place in the Middlesex County Women Team. This was the highest attendance ever seen at Middlesex.
Fast forward to 14th April where Middlesex faced Sussex in a warm-up game in preparation for the Gill Burns County Championship.
For many players the day was an experience like no other. Playing on a 4G pitch at Grasshoppers RFC’s new ground, kit all laid out in the changing and a stash bundle provided for everyone involved.
The game was played in four quarters to allow all 32 of the match day squad plenty of time to impress with selection for our game against Essex just around the corner.
The game started well and was a good contest between two teams that were well drilled.
After a good passage of play from Middlesex the backs were released wide and Middlesex full back Jackie Woodburn took the ball from her own 22 beating three defenders and touched down for the first try of the game.
Middlesex threatened to add more points during the next 15 minutes but for a good Sussex defence and some handling errors.
Sussex had clearly refocused themselves and during the second 20 were relentless in attack, capitalising on missed tackles and scoring a hat-trick of tries and went in at half time with the lead.
At half time Middlesex made more changes and started the second half with much more intensity and applying a lot of pressure to the Sussex defence. Sussex soaked it up and came back at Middlesex with some solid attacks of their own. The 3rd quarter ended without any points begin scored.
The 4th and final quarter was very much the same with both teams battling hard, fatigue was now starting to set in and Sussex dotted down twice one of which was a well worked try from the back of the scrum.
The game was a good contest and played in a great spirit. For Middlesex there are lots of positive to take from the game as we build for the start of the county championship on 28th April vs Essex at Grasshoppers Rugby Club.