Biggleswade Ladies lost to another late score in Sunday’s league match against Stockwood Park, going down 17-14.
It was a crushing blow for Biggy - the fifth game of the season they’ve lost late on by three points or less, including the reverse fixture at Stockwood before Christmas.
The team put in a huge amount of hard work, making tackle after tackle.
But in a match marred by a frustratingly high penalty count, Biggleswade just could not secure enough possession to build up momentum.
Initial Stockwood pressure meant Biggy took a few minutes to get hold of the ball.
Tash Cooper made the team’s first big break from her fullback position, catching a high kick and tearing up the pitch into Stockwood’s 22.
Biggy were advancing.
Kelly Hodgson took a quick penalty, putting Stockwood on the back foot, and giving supporters the glorious sight of returning captain Lauren Poole bursting through a gap to ground between the posts.
The try was converted by Bex Young.
Biggy needed to keep up the pressure but Stockwood were dominating possession and using their big forwards well, forcing Biggy to double up against several players.
There was real danger when Stockwood got close to the try line and powered over, but Biggleswade’s defence did magnificently to hold up the ball.
Charlie Field, at number 10, ferocious as ever in the tackle, instigated a 60m kick and chase, footballing the ball up the pitch, before a mistimed run from teammates ended the attack.
Stockwood’s pressure told with an unconverted try just before half time.
Biggy started the second half brightly, with Bex Young - playing well in her first match at nine - taking a quick penalty, handing off, and looping over a cheeky pass to Poole on the wing, who ran round for her second score of the day.
Young converted and Biggy were 14-5 up.
The penalties continued to mount. Again and again Biggy were forced to drop back and concede possession and territory.
Stockwood closed the gap with a converted try, putting the game on a knife-edge at 14-10.
Biggy defended on their line again.
With just a few minutes left on the clock Stockwood got their final try and despite Biggy working their way into the visitor’s 22 in a last ditch attempt to regain the lead, the final whistle blew with the score at 14-17.
Once again, Biggleswade Ladies should hold their heads up and be proud of their phenomenal work rate and determination in what was yet another difficult, close match.
Biggleswade ladies suffered a last-gasp defeat to opponents Stockwood Park at the weekend. Photo: David Kay.