NATIONAL WOMEN'S PLATE MATCH REPORT: Stewartry 24-19 Glasgow University
Stewartry Sirens lifted the National Women’s Plate in a physical encounter against Glasgow University. There was little to choose between the two sides, but it was Stewartry who found an extra reserve of strength to claim a 24-19 victory in the final minutes of the game.
Glasgow University kicked deep to get the game under way and just a few minutes in it was Stewartry who looked to dominate, with fly-half Lisa Ritchie making a deft offload to scrum-half Claire Manson who crossed the whitewash to put the first points on the board. The conversion was successful. (7-0)
Glasgow got straight back into the game but came up against a stern Stewartry defence. There was real physicality from both sides and after a good spell of possession Glasgow got their rewards with a try from Ciara Keenan. (7-5)
The two teams were evenly matched, both enjoying periods of possession but neither side managing to break through the opposition’s final line of defence.
The next points came from Stewartry’s Phaedra Snailham, whose fine try widened the Sirens’ lead. (12-5)
Glasgow looked fired up and showed some good skills and pace as they made inroads into the Stewartry 22, but it didn’t translate into points as the first 40 minutes concluded.
HALF-TIME: Stewartry 12-5 Glasgow University
Glasgow University came out fighting after half-time and looked determined to redress the balance. They spent a sustained period inside Stewartry’s territory but the Sirens’ defence held strong.
Eventually the hard work was rewarded when centre Shona Jessman made a break, running the length of the pitch to score an impressive try. A successful conversion levelled the scores. (12-12)
Both sides kept up the pressure but neither side managed to breach the others defence, until Stewartry’s Phaedra Snailham recorded her second score of the afternoon, crossing the whitewash to take the Sirens back into the lead. (17-12)
In the last ten minutes of the game the intensity increased with Elinor Grant scoring a try for Glasgow University which was duly converted. (17-19)
It looked as if the students had nailed it but Stewartry showed great resolve in one last push which saw Claire Manson score a try to reclaim the lead once more. (22-19)
The kick was good and the final score was cemented. (24-19)
Stewartry Captain, Jenny Yates, said: “I honestly thought we’d lost it but there was determination and we never gave up.
“We said before the game we play for the badge and we play for the heart and we did, we came through it and we played for each other and that’s the most important thing.
“We’ve never had support like that - you can’t describe it. There were so many Ayr and Stewartry supporters, boys and girls, the whole club came out and the whole day has ended perfectly.”
FULL-TIME: Stewartry 24-19 Glasgow University
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Clare Dooley (Stewartry)
Stewartry: Jenny Yates (C); Donna Burnett, Phaedra Snailham, Chloe Johnstone, Lisa McKinnon; Lisa Ritchie, Claire Manson; Deborah Swan, Lauren Gunn, Dawn Currie, Clare Dooley, Lizzie Ballentine, Laura Turner, Sammy Durnan, Ali Henderson
Replacements: Louise McLauchlan, Adele Baird, Tamsin Tyeson, Louisa Ramsay, Catherine Clark
Glasgow University: Dana Silerova; Izzy King, Melanie Grant, Shona Jessiman, Cecilie Ingemann Skou Olsen; Katie Hughes, Victoria Renwick (C); Katie Gray, Gilbert Walker, Elinor Grant, Asha Prasad, Sophie Mathew, Isaure Desoindre, Tallulah Armstrong, Debbie Lee
Replacements: Smilla Huzell, Gemma Watson, Erin Gilmour, Lucy Webb, Marie-Ann Wales, Ciara Keenan, Emily Todd