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Reds Women finish in style

Rugby | Published:

JERSEY REDS WOMEN closed their NC South 2 season in emphatic style, running in 49 unanswered points against Swanage and Wareham.

Taye Boakye-Yiadom, who scored four tries on Sunday, breaks away from the Swanage and Wareham defence. Picture: ROB CURRIE

The Reds, back home at St Peter, struck inside two minutes and by the finish winger Taye Boakye-Yiadom had scored four tries; number 8 Kerry Bertram three and stand-off Emily Hart two. Quite a performance.

The win puts them top of the table, but to claim the league title they will need third-placed Southampton to falter at home against basement girls Swanage next weekend.

Boakye-Yiadom opened the scoring with her first inside two minutes, but it was an excellent passage of play by the home side in the build up that was most impressive. After turning over the visitors inside their own half they applied pressure with great carries from captain Pippa Donovan and Lucy Hart. The ball was rapidly spun wide to Boakye-Yiadom, who evaded two defenders to score.

The next score came as full-back Lauren Trachy gathered a slippery bouncing ball in her own half and carried forward before releasing Boakye-Yiadom for her, and Jersey’s second.

Swanage had their best attack of the half soon after, as sustained pressure had Jersey concede five penalties in quick succession, all of which were taken quickly. They were camped in the Reds’ 22 for close to five minutes before Kerry Bertram won a turnover and fed Boakye-Yiadom, who ran Jersey out of trouble. They regrouped and played phases – Paris Ozouf leading the charge this time. Donovan carried hard before offloading to stand-off Emily Hart, who in-turn fired a nice pass to Boakye-Yiadom, who once again bested multiple defenders from outside the 22 to score and convert.

Bertram found more than a gap returning the next kick-off, breaking five tackles on her way to a superb score just before half-time.

The Reds picked up where they left off in the second period. Hart sold an excellent dummy to beat one tackler, and she had the pace to go for the corner and score. Boakye-Yiadom added the extras with a well- judged conversion.

Another try followed in quick succession. Boakye-Yiadom scooped up a knocked-on loose ball just inside her own half, and she enjoyed a clear run to the posts.

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The visitors once again used their forwards to penetrate deep into Jersey territory. Indeed, it appeared as if they had scored, but a pushover try was adjudged to be held up in the 55th minute.

The Jersey defence during this period was admirable, tackling flat-out for close to five minutes before Roxie Rice was able to usher her opposite winger out of play.

Gaby Linstead replied by going 22 to 22 on the next play before offloading to the waiting Bertram, who finished well on the hour.

Emily Hart doubled up in the 75th minute as she struck from long range, showing an excellent turn of pace to strike in the corner, but it was Bertram who had the final say. She received a pass from scrum-half Bridgett Glasson inside her own half and surged through a gap in the Swanage defence. An excellent hand-off dealt with a desperate tackle from the opposing full-back and she was under the posts.

Head coach George Eastwell said: ‘I thought our performance was really really good. We played them a couple of weeks ago so we were quite used to them, but I thought the highlight was how we adapted our game to the challenging conditions we faced today.

‘We feel it is quite sad that the campaign is over because we were really starting to build something special, but we are really happy with how far we have come these last few years and how we have finished in the table. I think how much work we have put in this season is reflected in our position, and it reflects how much we have grown as a side.’

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