Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rugby: T-Birds more than adequate in victory against Harrogate

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Harrogate 7 vs 23 Thurrock T-Birds

THURROCK made the long journey to Harrogate to start the defence of their National Cup today.

Despite the long journey the team looked fresh upon arrival & worked hard throughout the warm up.

As the game started it was clear the Northern side were going to test Thurrock. Some half breaks stiooed through fantastic cover tackling from full back Annalise Kerley. Harrogate were unlucky again not to take the lead as some last pass handling erors cost the home side.

At the half hour mark T-Birds boomed into life Lizell Heather making an initial break away to be stopped just short of the Harrogate try line, before a series of forward carries resulted in powerful number 8 Sam Willmott crossing the line for the opening score. The Willmott try the only points of a first half where the home side could of felt hard done by to be behind. Half time Harrogate 0 vs 5 Thurrock.

Words were ssid at half time & T-Birds came out firing with some serious go forward play. Captain India Harvey showing her pace and footwork to score Thurrocks 2nd try of the match.

Shortly after extending the lead Thurrock were pegged back when Olivia Stembridge was yellow carded and a controversial penalty try was awarded to the shock of both sides & the spectators.

Despite the Harrogate score Thurrock seemed very positive and went onto the attack again. Some food tactical kicking from Lizell Heather resulted in a try for Francesca Jordan who was rewarded for being at the heart of the Thurrock defensive efforts throughout the day! Heather then went onto extend the advantage with a penalty kick.

India Harvey finished proceedings by scoring her 2nd try to ensure victory and guarantee T-Birds travelled back down South with the win.

After the game T-Birds lead coach Andy Yarrow said ‘I’d like to start by thanking my players for their commitment! Travelling over 4 hours for a cup game shows just how dedicated this group of players are. Thank you also to the ever amazing sideline supporters, you always make a difference!

Harrogate tested us first half and were unlucky not to be on the scoreboard if they had been slightly more clinical the half time score could of been very different. That being said Annalise Kerley deserved her player of the match award for the hard work she put in scrambling in defence.

The team were hurt not to win the league but are taking this National Cup campaign very seriously. Next week we travel back up North to face a strong West Park Leeds side. I look forward to seeing the girls showing what they can do once again.’


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