DMP welcomed Lichfield to the Northern Echo Arena on a blustery December day for the last game of the 2014. Due to injuries yet again DMP were unable to field a full match day squad with only 17 fit players available although they welcomed back the speed machine Ruth Laybourn and the much missed Sarah Jones.
Because of the injuries the squad was again reshuffled moving Fi Davidson to 6 a position she excelled in against Wasps last week, Lichfield got the game underway, the ball was kicked deep but well caught be Julie Hope who fed it out to the forwards who ran the ball straight back at Lichfield.
A great kick by Katy Mclean saw DMP deep into Lichfield territory forcing them to play from deep. Lichfield won the lineout on their own throw and kicked the ball deep adopting DMPs tactics.
The game followed the same pattern with both sides trying to gain a foothold competing ferociously at every breakdown and kicking deep at every opportunity. Katy Mclean was coming out on top in the kicking contest as her educated boot constantly forced Lichfield backwards.
Another superb kick by Mclean got DMP deep into Lichfield’s half after a skirmish a penalty was awarded to DMP and captain George Roberts elected to go for the posts which Mclean slotted leaving the score DMP 3 Lichfield 0
Lichfield got the game underway with a deep kick collected by Ashleigh Wright and a tight game continued with both sides giving it everything.
Lichfield increased the pressure on DMP in the search for points and some great handling saw them work the ball deep into DMP territory butt tenacious tackling saw Lichfield give away a penalty which allowed Katy Mclean to clear.
DMPs backs were throwing the ball about with relish and some great work saw Julie Hope nearly in at the corner only to be stopped by a great tackle, the support wasn’t quick enough and Lichfield’s Amy Cokayne picked the ball up and ran the length of the pitch chased by Tamara Taylor and Fi Davidson who forced her into the corner, the try wasn’t converted leaving the score DMP 3 Lichfield 5.
Lichfield had their tails up now and increased the pressure on DMP working the ball deep into DMPs half but great defence saw a scrum awarded to DMP on their 5 metre line a great scrum and pick up and run from Tamara Taylor gave space for Katy Mclean to clear her lines.
Lichfield continued to pressure and a half charged down ball saw them gather with quick hands through the backs and saw them score in the left hand corner not converted leaving the score DMP 3 Lichfield 10.
DMP got the game under way and great line speed forced Lichfield into a mistake with a penalty being awarded to DMP, Captain George Roberts elected to go for the post and an excellent attempt by Katy Mclean saw the ball just go wide.
Lichfield reacted well and forced themselves deep into DMPs half with great handling and support play, quick hands through the backs saw them over in the left hand corner not converted leaving the score DMP 3 Lichfield 15 which ended a very entertaining first half.
After staying out on the pitch at half time DMP got the second half underway, DMP looked fresher than Lichfield as they began the second half with a much higher tempo, another great kick through from Katy Mclean put DMP deep into Lichfield territory A lineout won and a trundle towards the Lichfield try line saw precious metres earned by DMPs forwards, the ball was passed back to Katy Mclean who’s great cross field kick saw Julie Hope over in the corner a great conversion from Mclean left the score DMP 10 Lichfield 15.
DMPs confidence was high as they competed at every breakdown Fi Davidson was winning one turnover after another, DMP had Lichfield pinned in their own half fantastic pressure saw a penalty awarded to DMP and a measure of their growing confidence was shown as they elected to kick for the corner rather than the posts.
A great catch and drive from the throw in saw DMP push Lichfield backwards over their try line for Fi Davidson to dot down score not converted leaving the score DMP 15 Lichfield 15.
Lichfield showed what a good side they are as they responded with some great work pushing DMP backwards only to be stopped with determined defence, Katy Mclean who had been excellent all day got DMP deep into Lichfield’s half with another excellent kick. A line out was awarded to DMP again with a catch and drive led by Tamara Taylor, but some excellent defence by Lichfield stopped any further progress the ball was passed out through the backs but probing runs by Scholes and McLean were stopped by Lichfield who were under immense pressure on their own 5 metre line, a quick change of direction from Katy Mattinson out to Scholes who with quick hands put Fi Davidson in between two defenders to score her second try in the right hand corner not converted leaving the score DMP 20 Lichfield 15.
DMP saw the final few minutes out to leave themselves with another win against the odds showing that rugby blood runs deep in their veins.
Back of the match was awarded to birthday girl Katy Mclean and forward of the match to Fi Davidson both awards being richly deserved
It’s a great end to what has been a very difficult year for the DMP Sharks girls, but what has always shone through is the team ethic these girls play the game for each other through thick and thin.
DMP Durham Sharks
|21/12/2014||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2014-15|
|The Northern Echo Arena|
|The Northern Echo Arena, Neasham Road, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 1DL|