9 Apr '24

Bideford Ladies travelled to Topsham on a very mixed weather day hoping to finish the season on a high!

From the off Bideford pushed the pressure on to the Topsham defence, we saw wave after wave of Bideford attack from the backs and forwards but the resolute defending from Topsham made Bideford work for the yards given before Amber Hallman crashed over for the first try. Liv Taylor stepped up for her first conversion although she thought it was a cross bar challenge as it clattered off the cross bar then the up right before falling the right way over the bar for the extras.

With the ground firm the Bideford pack went about trying to unpick the Topsham scrum winning the ball against and pushing them back, Hannah Daniels holding the ball well at the back to force the penalty.

Then something we weren’t sure was possible happened… Chloe Spearman scored a Try AND IT DIDNT GET HELD UP! Liv was reminded the crossbar challenge was AFTER the game so she slotted the conversion for the extra points.

The backs not to be out done by the forwards work were trying everything to make head way. A well worked move saw Mia Wray smash through the middle only to be tripped by the Topsham scramble defence! Once the ball was recycled some good hands and NBA style offloads saw Liv score in the far corner. Liv couldn’t convert her own try claiming having little legs made it tiring scoring the try so conversion dropped short.

Half time saw a multitude of changes amongst the team and the words at huddle were “We don’t need the 50/50 NBA passes any more as the coaches and spectators are having heart palpitations from watching it.”

The write up so far makes it look firmly Bidefords ball but this couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t know what was said at half time but Topsham were not going to roll over and let Bideford have everything their way!

The whistle blew and Topsham attacked from everywhere calling for Bideford to rally and hold a very determined Topsham out. A turnover and some quick hands saw Bideford make a very good break against the run of play which saw Chloe Roissetter score from half way under the posts and Liv converted.

For the next 25 minutes Bideford were under pressure when Bideford received a yellow for stripping the ball close to the line whilst on her knees.

Down to 14 Bideford held out against a deeply determined Topsham back line. Forward of the match Michelle Rew was at the bottom of many rucks after making tackles against bigger opponents. The backs were everywhere along with the bideford back row putting in some thunderous stops to rumbling forwards. Back of the match Liv at 10 had a very busy day seeming to be the target for much of the onslaught.

A string of penalties saw Bideford defending there line with some of the best try line defence only seen twice this season body, soul and hairbands on the line! Birthday girl Kat Keenan and the full stop in the centres, Brighty, held the ball up on two different occasions showing determination to keep the score clean.

It must be said as the coaches watched a tap penalty was stopped short then 2 more stopped quite literally millimetres from the line and could not of been more proud to see the dedication to stop those attacks where most teams would have crumbled.

Captain Amber came off with 10 minutes left with injury management for Devon games which made way for Hammy (Steph Senger) in to her honorary roll in the forwards at flanker.

Topsham tapped again after a penalty and not one Bideford player let a team mate down. Cheryl Patterson stopped the first prop, along to Ruth and Hammy stopping the last before the line, forcing Topsham to go wider for a well worked and deserved try.

For most the match after Bideford and Topsham traded blows as the whistle went Bideford recorded there final victory of the season. A very stop start match made for a good day of rugby, Topsham can Hold themselves high knowing they stayed at 15 and competitive even with injuries.

Debutant Kira shows massive promise for the future and our little irish winger Jordon is off to Scotland to hopefully carry on playing so as to not waste her talent!

Bideford Ladies have completed this season with exciting wins with only two losses and a draw only.

We also celebrate the first time in the history of the women’s team, every fixture fulfilled with 15 players and a full bench. Now for a deserved break and some beer and wine at the awards night.

Our Sponsors