Ashfield Ladies 7 – 54 West Norfolk Warriors
West Warriors took to the road for their first game of 2024, with West exploding out of the blocks with a second minute try for Megan Burroughs, converted by Jade Nicholson. Ashfield responded quickly, pushing down the middle of the field and being rewarded with their own converted try after 10 minutes.
Tally Read punched holes in the defense but Ashfield, who had a physically bigger pack, managed to resist. However, at 20 minutes, fast hands got the ball to OJ Middleton-Jones on the wing, running in an 80m try to tap down under the posts, which Nicholson converted.
Ashfield continued to play aggressive rugby, but West forwards laid their bodies on the line, making tackle after tackle. Georgie Lingham (no 10) sent the ball left and right, resulting in repeated line breaks by West players, before then making her own break on the left wing, fending off tacklers and running in her own try, again converted by Nicholson.
West continued to play smart rugby for the rest of the first half – moving the ball wide and scoring two more tries before half-time: another try on the wing for Burroughs; the other carried by Ruth Denham, passing to a flying Eleanor Navrady who grounded the ball under the posts before Nicholson once again slotted over the conversion.
Coming back for the second half, at 48 minutes a West scrum on halfway was perfectly coordinated by no 9 Amber Wadlow, who released Lingham to immediately run in her second try under the posts; Nicholson once more converted.
West continued to make repeated visits to the opposition half, enabling Lingham to get her third try, helped by a slick lineout from sister Rosie and squad captain, EJ Watson. With an injured Nicholson off, experienced kicker Tiffany Turner successfully converted.
A brutal last quarter saw several stoppages for injuries but West continued to apply pressure, once more breaking the line and shaking off Ashfield to get the ball to Georgie Lingham for her fourth and West’s eighth try. Turner once more converted the try before the referee stopped play early due to a serious injury to an Ashfield player.
Forward of the Match – Ruth Denham
Back of the Match – Tally Read