Five wins in a row for Harrogate Ladies as West Bridgford are dispatched

Action from Harrogate RUFC Ladies' victory over West Bridgford. Picture: John Ashton (ickledot.uk)
Action from Harrogate RUFC Ladies' victory over West Bridgford. Picture: John Ashton (ickledot.uk)

Harrogate RUFC Ladies chalked up another victory when they beat West Bridgford 43-0 at the Stratstone Stadium.

Following four consecutive league wins, they overcame a resilient West Midlands outfit in a friendly encounter on Sunday afternoon.

Lucy Barnett’s team have been scoring points for fun so far this season and were knocked off their stride when a resolute defensive effort by their visitors kept them at bay for the opening quarter of an hour.

Captain Rose Jay did eventually manage to find a way though, however, opening the scoring after some fine footwork took her past the well-drilled West Bridgford defence.

The try arrived after Harrogate patiently went through phase after phase, their forwards hammering away at the visiting line.

Full-back Lauren Bolger then added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

With West Bridgford running hard in attack the ‘Gate defence had to be on formand there were some huge tackles made by home centres Sarah Foster and Evie Jackson.

With 22 minutes on the clock, prop Imari Epps dragged the away team’s front row down a foot away from their own try-line, then ensured that the ball made it safely to hooker, Maisie Barnett who clambered over a mountain of bodies to score under the posts.

Bolger converted again, and the hosts were in control at 14-0.

Just two minutes later, in immediate response to the West Bridgford kick-off, Bolger seized possession and ran away to touch down, converting herself for 21-0.

This was the last score the hosts managed before the interval as their visitors made them work hard in both attack and defence right up until the half-time whistle.

Number eight Ellie Ward made a series of strong runs alongside second row Annie Lyles, but the West Bridgford defence made sure the pair were stopped short of the white-wash.

The away resistance was broken shortly after the resumption, Lizzy Mason managing to force her way over the try-line after fierce Harrogate pressure up front.

Although leading 26-0, Barnett’s charges continued to turn the screw and when Jackson turned over a ruck and won possession, Achele Agada was perfectly placed to to receive the ball.

The powerful prop backed herself and ran through a number of would-be tacklers to dot down.

Bolger booted over the extras for a 33-0 advantage.

Although Harrogate were looking dominant, West Bridgford continued to compete fiercely and caused their hosts real problems in the scrum at times.

After a period of scrappy play in what were difficult conditions for rugby, ‘Gate managed to keep hold of the ball long enough for Bolger to run around the outside and register her second try of the afternoon.

The last touchdown of the match was then bagged by second row Charlotte Warriner, who fell off a five-metre scrum and over the opposition line.

Harrogate Ladies’ next league game is scheduled for this Sunday, when they travel to Sefton.

Their next home fixture takes place on Saturday November 17 and will be played at the Stratstone Stadium.