Ladies 1s v Hampstead

With global support (read Fred and Sophie, Kiara) and our supportive sideliners (supersubs, old boys, injured hammerettes…) our team of 19 super fit girls hit the pitch at 2pm on Sunday 10/09/17 in perfect rugby weather.
Right from the kick off the energy was high, if not a little frantic by both teams, as we settled into the first league match of the season. Knowing Hampstead were a solid team and not to be messed with we were keen to take it straight to them and see what they had brought to our fortress. Whilst our game plan was to play blue balls for the first 10 minutes it seemed as though our awesome pack had other ideas. Hard runs and physical prowess led to our first try at 7 minutes in by Michelle who also converted (7-0).
The next 10 minutes felt like forever as ruck after ruck occurred with some dubious hand positions by the opposition pressuring us to lose a lot of ball and work extra hard to turn it over. Despite this at 20 minutes Sophie took the ball and in a dream run dodged her way from behind halfway to score, converted by Michelle (14-0). Letting our guard down a bit allowed Hampstead to come back at us with strong running and they scored their first try (14-5) to take us
to half time.
With a lead going into the second half and Hampstead keen to level the pressure was on but they couldn’t keep up with our display of teamwork and passing. This led to 2 more early ties one by our storming centre lizzie handing off a number of players like swatting flies, the other by our utility back/forward John. On scoring her try she lay on the floor to be asked by the Hampstead player if she was ok, the ref replied “I think she’s just knackered!” She had just run nearly half the pitch! Score 24-5.This was followed soon after by another from Michelle 29-5.
Hampstead valiant in their efforts just could not keep up and 5 minutes later in her long pale blue Cambridge (cough) socked legs Lara ran an amazing line to score her first try for the Hammers on her debut (34-5). I’m not entirely sure what happened next but we managed to concede a penalty try taking the score to 34-12, however they could not hold us back and Lara ran in with another (41-12).
Our final try of the match came from the most beautiful delayed pass from Leah to Michelle who scored her hatrick just before the final ‘whiffle’. Final score 48-19. Hampstead scored somewhere else but the brain has failed me.
A cracking team to play against who sadly suffered a number of injuries (read were leah’d, lizzie’d). They complemented us after the match and commented on how physical the game was and how they had not expected such a game. I have no doubt when we travel to them they will be gunning for us but for now an amazing match and start to the season. I’m really proud to be part of a team that played like we did with commitment and teamwork. Just imagine what we can achieve for the rest of the season.
We were even awarded with Mark’s happy face at the end before heading to the Fest for post match food and drinks.
Pints were awarded to Amy and Bukky for their debut match. A solid performance by both newbies on the pitch and in their drinking abilities! Welcome to the team, once a hammer always a hammer!
Forward of the match went to Annabel for her consistent work rate and powerful runs.
Back of the match went to Nina for her brilliant defensive work – a 100% tackle record (Mark was counting).
A special pint was awarded to Michelle for her hatrick of tries and kicking ability. One try of which was scored by running half the pitch without her boot. Less will be said about how she lost her boots later that night and where she found them!
Final Score: Hammers 48 Hampstead 19