Sunday, July 21, 2024

Rugby: T-Birds fall prey to the Sharks

Womens Premiership

Darlington MP Sharks 45 v 20 Thurrock T Birds

IN only the third match of their first Premiership campaign, the T-Birds learnt that even if you can compete in all areas of the game, you have to do so for the full 80 minutes and that 60 minutes is not enough.

After a 250 mile drive, the gritty T-Birds put in a dogged performance for much of this game, but shipping a total of 20 points in the last 10 minutes of each half cost them the possibility of a win and finally the losing bonus point.

Playing catch up from the 3rd minute, The T-Birds never managed to contain Katy McLean, the England Stand Off, who’s 15 points from the boot ultimately kicked the Darlington Mobden Sharks to victory.

Dominant in the scrum, but very much in second place with the lineout, having been 15-0 down in less than 15 minutes the T-Birds fought back and both Tanya Pinkham and Katie Fenn bagged their first Premiership trys. They swapped scores with Darlington, to reach 30 minutes at 20-10 down but very much in the game.

With Darlington pushing hard Ts concede 2 very kickable penalties in the dying minutes which Katy McLean duly converted to reach the break at 26-10.

Thurrock came out fighting after the break and dragged themselves into real contention with 2 quick scores, Rachael Burford chasing down a loose clearance kick and then the T-bird pack completing their set piece dominance by pushing over from a 5 meter scrum and Twin Frank touching it down.

26-20 looked a different game for about 2 minutes. Despite what looked like 2 knock ons from the kickoff, the referee allowed play to continue and with Ts waiting for the whistle, McLean manufactured a Darlington overlap that put Rachael Lund into the corner.

At 11 points behind, the game was slipping from the Ts grasp but with 4 trys scored, either or both of 2 bonus points still looked a strong possibility.


Tanya Pinkham and Twin Frank (Francesca Jordan) were Thurrock’s players of the match with their first Premiership trys.

Team J.Convoy, M.Foy (C), J.Mountjoy, T.Nichols, C.Boulton, J.Fenn, F.Jordan, S.Jordan, A.Radford, E.Scott, I.Harvey, R.Burford, D.Harris, T.Pinkham, K.Emerson. Subs L.Kavanagh 40m, R.Prosser 50m, V.Ely 57m, G.Marcassus 65, R.Francis 70.

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