Rugby Roses Sport

Mixed fortunes for York's women in rugby sevens

York's firsts won their match comfortably as the seconds were caught cold in defeat this afternoon. (Thumbnail credit Photo: George Lowther)

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York's women helped themselves to the larger share of the spoils in Friday afternoon's rugby sevens encounters; the firsts winning their match comfortably as the seconds were caught cold in defeat.

The firsts' match was more valuable to the overall tally, with two points on offer, and the impressive 24-10 victory was build upon the foundation of two Claire Beer tries in the first-half. The seconds, handicapped by a horrendous injury to Fiona Parr, slipped to a 20-5 defeat as Lancaster scooped the single point on offer.

With both matches played in gusty winds, the side which adapted quickest to the awkward conditions would be favourites in the short seven minute halves. York's seconds, opening proceedings, struggled to gain a foothold in the first-half and conceded a couple of tries to Lancaster's lightning-fast flanker, while not helping their cause with a number of knock-ons during their own spells of pressure. The loss of Parr, to a painful-looking knee injury, on the stroke of half-time further dented their chances.

However, with characteristic guts and spirit, York responded to their 10-0 half-time deficit through a Louise Blockwell try shortly after the re-start. Unfortunately, the White Rose couldn't muster further points and were stunned twice more by the raw pace of Lancaster's number 12, who added two more scores to extend her personal tally to four.

Chastened, the firsts set about exacting revenge in their own style. Their first attack, barely 30 seconds into the match, yielded a try as Beer accelerated through acres of space on the left flank, leaving the Lancaster rearguard completely flat-footed. Undeterred, Lancaster equalled the score on their next attack but Captain Chrissie Leahy was unimpressed and promptly marched unstoppably through the middle to restore York's lead at 10-5.

On the cusp of half-time, Beer strolled home for her second and, with Emma Hodgson the first to score a conversion, seized control of the match at 17-5. A low-key second period witnessed Hodgson notch a deserved try after fantastic build-up play from Leahy - the resulting conversion taking Hodgson's personal contribution to nine points - before Lancaster scored in the dying moments. A mere consolation, unlikely to detract from a fine display from the York girls, who will enter tomorrow's fifteens match brimming with confidence.

(Note, women are in the second part of this video)

York Squads:
Firsts - 1. Chelsey Sprong, 5. Lizzie Prance, 8. Gemma Parry, 9. Emma Hodgson, 10. Chrissie Leahy (c), 12. Amy Miller, 15. Claire Beer, 18. Leish Wagstaff
Seconds - 2. Amee Wilson, 3. Kirsty Wheeler, 4. Fiona Parr, 6. Louise Blockwell, 7. Nikki Parker, 11. Amy Davies, 13. Kerry McQuigg, 14. Kate Fullilove, 16. Raine Astin-Chamberlain

Credits for YSTV: Iain Cooke

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