West Norfolk ladies defeat rivals in friendly
West Norfolk Ladies warmed up for the start of their forthcoming Midlands Division Two campaign on Saturday week by defeating their counterparts from Royston in a friendly encounter.
Both clubs started teams at the same time and have developed a strong bond since being formed over the last few years.
Although the rivalry is friendly, West were keen to hold Royston to a clean sheet.
With the agreement of both sides, the fixture was played over four quarters with several players returning from injury.
It took the first two quarters for the cobwebs to blow away and produce some outstanding individual plays.
Royston dominated at the scrum and maul with a strong pack during a point-less first 40 minutes.
In the third quarter, Mary Hegarty broke through Royston’s defence and ran in the first try, which was promptly converted by Zoe Sharp.
Sharp then made a spectacular individual break and ran from before the halfway line and looked certain to score before a high tackle brought her down.
The referee awarded a penalty try, bringing the score to 14-0.
Santana Dunn, making her debut on the wing, put in some crashing tackles and was rewarded with a run which ended with a try under the posts.
The steady boot and constant practice through the summer of Sharp paid off with another conversion.
With Royston sustaining a few injuries, Claudia Langley and Catherine Leach switched sides to help the opposition but West Norfolk still ran out 21-0 winners.
Outstanding West Norfolk performances came from forwards Sian Brundle, Mary Hegarty while Leah Watson made her long-awaited return from injury.
Jaz Carrick made an impressive and notable first impression on the field along with Tilly Suiter.
Becca Clunan played at scrum-half and with Sarah Cross made cross field try-saving tackles.
New forwards Lisa Moxham, Ella Fuller and Hayley Rye were supported and encouraged by Sarah Hodge and experienced hooker Laura Howlett.
Charlotte Wales, Claudia Langely, Catherine Leach and Tiffany Turner settled into the role of flanker and Terri Sharp supported continuously on the wing.
Captain Kathryn Sharp, as well as producing another consistent performance on the pitch, and club coaches Teresa Dunn, Rob Watson and Marc Foreman, provided an unremitting source of positivity, clear guidance and leadership.
West Norfolk begin their Midlands Division Two campaign against Peterborough on Sunday, September 17.