U15 Girls strike out at Kettering 7s
By Ben Clough
One win, three losses.
Four teams contested the inaugural Kettering Blubelles 7s festival: Cambridge, Kettering, Newark and Peterborough.
Cambridge's first game was against Newark. Newark borrowed three players from Peterborough, as they only had six players turn up. It was a tough game, evenly fought in the first half. In the second half, Newark's size and the speed of the Peterborough players forced open the floodgates. Final score was Newark 30, Cambridge 12. Cambridge scorers were Aaliyah and Maya, with Maya adding a conversion.
Second game was against Peterborough. Peterborough have a lot of good players, but two stand out and it was these two who largely ran in the tries, which arrived steadily throughout the game. Final score was Peterborough 32, Cambridge 0. The score belies the effort and play of Cambridge in this game. Emily pulled off one of the tackles of the season in denying Peterborough what seemed like a certain score. The tackle epitomised the commitment from all the players.
The third match was against our hosts, Kettering. This was a very even affair, with Cambridge triumphing with the last score of the game. Final score was Cambridge 24, Kettering 17. Cambridge scorers were Iris, Rebecca (2) and Jess, with Rebecca adding two conversions.
Peterborough won all their games, with the other teams winning one each. The play-off for the cup was to be between Peterborough and Newark and the Plate was to be contested between Kettering and Cambridge.
The Plate final was first. As in the group game between the sides, it was even. The lead changed hands on each score but at full-time, the score was tied at 29-29. Another two minutes was called by the referee. A break from the ruck by Rebecca got us almost to the line, but after quick recycling, Cherie dived over with a flourish. The conversion was missed. Cambridge supporters dared to hope, 34-29. But back came Kettering; 34-34. With seconds to go, Cambridge kicked off but it failed to go 10 and Kettering were allowed to play it, knocking on and then picking up, but the knock-on was missed by the referee and Kettering broke away to score. Full-time was blown. Final score was Kettering 39, Cambridge 34. Cambridge scorers were Maya, Aaliyah, Emily, Jess, Cherie with Maya adding two conversions.
Cambridge's participation was not quite at an end. We lent two players to Newark for the final (as we'd done for their previous games). Newark played out of their skins in the final, but were undone by the pace of the two leading Peterborough players. Peterborough took the cup.
Well done to Scarlett, Sheetal and Emma (apologies if I missed someone) for volunteering to play for Newark.
The girls did not do any 7s specific training for this festival - indeed, due to Easter and cancellations, it had been some weeks since they last played. Even so, they did the club proud. The competition was stiff - Peterborough have some really gifted players many of whom play for East Midlands, Newark were large with several NLD players and we found Kettering a very even match on their home turf. The girls can be very proud of how they played and their commitment to each other.
We have much to look forward to next season.