SIRENS SE­CURE PLATE TRE­BLE

Suc­cess at Murrayfiel­d

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - STEPHEN TEM­LETT

Ste­war try Sirens cap­tain Jenny Yates hailed the never-say­die at­ti­tude of her team-mates when a last-gasp try se­cured their third na­tional ti­tle at Murrayfiel­d.

The ladies lifted the Na­tional Women’s Plate on Satur­day after a thrilling 24-19 win over Glas­gow Univer­sity at the home of Scot­tish rugby.

The stu­dents had fought back to lead 19-17 with just min­utes left on the clock but Clare Man­son sparked scenes of joy with a last­gasp con­verted try to se­cure an­other ti­tle to fol­low their suc­cesses in 2015 and 2017.

“I hon­estly thought we’d lost it but there was de­ter­mi­na­tion and we never gave up,” said Yates.

“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.”

Glas­gow Univer­sity kicked deep to get the game un­der way but just a few min­utes in it was Ste­wartry who looked to dom­i­nate with fly-half Lisa Ritchie mak­ing a deft off­load to scrum-half Man­son who crossed the white­wash to put the first points on the board with a suc­cess­ful con­ver­sion.

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.

The next points came from Ste­wartry’s Phae­dra Snail­ham, whose fine try widened the Sirens’ lead to 12-5 at the break.

Glas­gow Univer­sity came out fight­ing and spent a sus­tained pe­riod in­side Ste­wartry 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 with a con­ver­sion lev­el­ling the scores at 12-12.

Both sides kept up the pres­sure un­til Snail­ham recorded her sec­ond try to make it 17-12.

In the last 10 min­utes, the in­ten­sity rose as Elinor Grant scored a try for Glas­gow, which was con­verted.

It looked as if the stu­dents had won it but Ste­wartry showed great re­solve in one last push which saw Man­son be­come the hero.

STE­WARTRY: Jen­nyYates (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,Tam­sinTye­son, Louisa Ram­say, Cather­ine Clark. Player of the match: Clare Doo­ley

Cel­e­bra­tion time The suc­cess­ful Sirens side at Murrayfiel­d. Pic cour­tesy of scot­tishrugby.org

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