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The Army Senior Women had a frustrating afternoon against the British Police at Aldershot, being edged 22-17.

With a much-changed team and a number of new players being given game time, the Army would have wanted a good start to settle any nerves, and this is exactly what the red shirts got.

A quick tap from Bdr Bethan Dainton (RA) and a drive from SSgt Nat Lewis (R Sigs) had the ball over the line but held up. But the goal line dropout didn’t make the 22-metre line, and when the Army sent the ball down the line the running lines and intelligent passing put Gnr Charlotte Tweddle (RA) over in the right corner.

But the Police hit back almost immediately, turning the ball over on the Army 22, and while there were some desperate tackles on the goal line the visitors made the most of the opportunity to score, prop Gemma Paul crashing over by the sticks.

As the clock ticked past the end of the first quarter the Army struck again with a well worked score.

Gnr Tweddle put Gnr Asinate Kasowaqa (RA) away for a good run down the right wing, and when the ball came left Maj Anika Willis (RE) came within a couple of inches of the whitewash with a powerful drive.

SSgt Lewis finished things off from close range, and while the conversion was missed the red shirts had their noses in front once again.

A penalty tied things up with 10 minutes to play in the first half, the 10-10 scoreline being a fair reflection of play.

But on the stroke of half-time the Police scored their second try, capitalising on a turnover on the Army’s 22 to head into the sheds with the wind at their backs.

The turnover had spoiled a promising opportunity for the Army, who were attempting to make the most of an overlap deep in their own half, but instead the red shirts found themselves 17-10 down when the action resumed.

SSgt Natalie Lewis drove over for the Army’s second try.

It took two minutes for the scores to be tied once again, and the Army crossed the whitewash in style.

A missed touchfinder from a Police penalty allowed SSgt Carrie Roberts (REME) to build up some speed, and as the defenders ran out the timing of the pass become increasingly important. The final defender was drawn and the offload given, and Gdsm Komaitai (IG) was over between the uprights, making Pte Courtney Pursglove’s (RLC) conversion straightforward.

As the mist started to come in the action became increasingly scrappy, and the Police capitalised on an Army fumble to score next, Sophie Scanlon over in the right corner.

The next scoring opportunity belonged to the Army, some powerful running taking the red shirts close to the Police line. But this time the rearguard action held, and with the final 10 minutes approaching the visitors were still 22-17 ahead.

This advantage looked comfortable enough, as, despite their best efforts and a barnstorming run from SSgt Roberts, the Army were not able to work their way out of their own territory.

Police scrum-half Bianca Blackburn missed a chance to kill off the contest with a penalty four minutes from time, and even though they were a player down following Gdsm Komaitai’s yellow card the hosts maintained their intent to attack from anywhere, running the ball back from deep.

They managed to work all the way up to 15 metres inside the Police’s half, but at the crucial moment they got on the wrong side of the referee, and the visitors had the win.

SSgt Carrie Roberts impressed in the second half with powerful running lines.

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks.  All images – Alligin Photography © Lee Crabb


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