Round 2 - Womens Prem - Dee's v Wildcats
Zazu | 19.05.22
August 7, 2021. A day that will live long in the memory, for three very simple reasons.
1. Mud-soaked guernseys
2. Grass-filled eyes
3. Women’s Premierships
Now, 9 months and 280 days on, the rivalry of all rivalries resumed, as our title-winning women once again took to the field, against the side they defeated on that fateful day in Wimbledon. The West London Wildcats.
Injuries, however, had taken their toll on the side in the lead up to the encounter, with no less than 12 SheDees sidelined following a bruising opening round. Excuses though were nowhere to be found. Instead, there was optimism… and excitement.
And what a start the girls produced.
Having stepped up into the rucking role, Sam Wilkins produced a standout performance, after being told to get angry and to get mean. At her feet, Nuala Clarke, Chloe Hall and Taylah Fiddes took the fight to a physical Wildcats midfield, providing great service to the forwards. A seven-point lead at quarter-time just reward for the effort shown on the field, with Bryony Warnock-Hall kicking her first major for the club.
Now heading down the hill, the girls continued to ramp up the pressure on the visitors, booting another two goals before the main break. Bonnie Johnson took her season tally to five, with a fine mark and goal on a slight angle, whist the returning Chloe MacLennan booted her first-ever goal for the club. Five points the margin at the main break, on what was a scorching hot day on the Common.
Refreshed and rehydrated, a big second half awaited the girls, but it was the Wildcats who came out firing after the break, no doubt with revenge on their agenda. Still, our proud SheDees refused to back down, despite the mounting pressure on the defence. Britt Mathison was a cool, calm presence down back, cleaning up on every possible occasion, whilst Cayne Schooley produced an early contender for goal of the year from the forward pocket. Three goals to one however handed the advantage to the visitors, ahead of a pivotal final quarter.
And a tense quarter it proved to be, as fatigue started to take its toll. On the wings however, Katie Whitefield and Jess Calam never stopped running, whilst down forward, Cayne continued to be a menace to the Wildcats defence, and was rewarded with her second goal of the game. It was not to be however for our reigning premiers, as the Cats showed why they will be a likely finals opponent, as they held out for a 15-point win. Still, there are many lessons to be learnt in defeat, and we’ll be back bigger and better this weekend.
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