Ladies succumb to the cold
Helensburgh ...... 5 Grangemouth ..15
Helensburgh Ladies lost their first league match of 2017 in harsh conditions to close rivals Grangemouth.
The ladies were yet to win a game and sat at the bottom of the National 2 League table. Grangemouth were only just above them and were also as yet without a win.
Grangemouth kicked to the home side first. The ball was caught by Moy, the Helensburgh fly half, and swiftly moved out along the back line. The startled visitors did not know what had hit them when the Burgh pack quickly moved the ball forward with extremely effective rucking and some big drives up the pitch.
Scrum half Gibbs wove across the pitch, only briefly losing the ball for full back Boyle to win a ruck and steal it back.
The cold temperature meant both sides became clumsy, with the ball being knocked forward a few times, which gave the Burgh ladies a chance to show what they have in a scrum.
The home side put in quickly with Hooker Callan winning the ball and passing it back to No 8 Lloyd. She powered through the oppositions forwards, assisted by flankers Rolling and Emerson, and got a good distance before going to ground.
Next tight head prop Sloan took the ball and once again burst through. Scrum half Gibbs picked up from the back of a ruck knowing her forwards pack were behind her to create a powerful maul which that then broke through the defence and touched the ball down for the first try of the game.
Helensburgh kept up the pace, trying to get the ball out to Murray on the wing, however Grangemouth stepped up their defence, putting pressure on the home side until finally, after multiple scrums on the line they broke through the defensive line to score their first try of the game.
The second half began with the Burgh side kicking to the opposition, quickly chasing the ball up and desperately trying to regain possession.
Gaps were left in defence as the conditions started to affect Burgh’s game and it left an opening for the Grangemouth winger. She managed to burst through, chased down by Murray, who at least applied enough pressure to force the runner to score the try right over to the side.
The girls’ spirits were still high, especially when their captain Peebles came on to play for the first time in over a year following a bad injury.
There were a few close calls as the visitors began to make breaks, however Burgh stopped them with good tackling and kicking the ball out.
Burgh were regularly winning the ball in line outs with winger McCloy jumping and quickly feeding it along the back line.
Both sides were tiring and the conditions worsening, and due to injuries positions had to change. This all started to take its toll on Helensburgh until finally a scrum and a quick pick up from the opposing scrum half gave Grangemouth their final try for the day.
Unfortunately the game was called at 73 minutes due to injuries, making the final score 15-5 to Grangemouth.
Woman of the match for Helensburgh: R. Lloyd
Woman of the match for Grangemouth: A. Thomson
Helensburgh: 15. L. Boyle, 14. H. Murray, 13. H. Nicholson, 12. A. Thomson, 11. L. McCloy, 10. L. Moy, 9. R. Gibbs, 1. J. Baillie, 2. K. Callan, 3. S. Sloan, 4. S. Thomson, 5. D. Hughes 6. E. Rolling 7. L. Emerson 8. R. Lloyd
Subs: A. Peebles, K. Collins
Grounded The players fight for the ball