From low numbers a month ago, Castleford RUFC Girls U15s have recruited well and were able to field a full team with 2 substitutes in a very competitive game against Mansfield RUFC at Willowbridge Lane. This was a very encouraging day for the girls.
It was an enthralling and at times an exciting match as the sides went nip and tuck for the first 20 minutes as both defences were able to keep chances to a minimum. Most of the play was confined to within the 22s and, whilst Mansfield were stronger in and around the ruck, the Cas defence was strong and withstood the pressure. The deadlock was finally broken when fine and speedy hands along the back line gave Ebony Stead the space that she needed to break through from outside centre for a lovely arcing run to score under the posts for the first of her tries. Poppy Adams added the conversion.
Like the proverbial bus, another try followed immediately as Harriett Hirst was able to gather the ball in her own half and work her way to the wing before straightening up and evading the chasing defenders to score right in the corner.
Stead rounded off the first half after more focussed first phase ball from the forwards and fluent passing from the backs allowed her to hit another incisive run from the edge to dot down under the posts, making it another relatively easier kick for Adams’ second conversion.
The second half started as the first but Cas were a little more confident at the breakdown and this allowed them to counter-attack more effectively and move the ball more quickly and decisively than they had done. Stead was a consistent threat all match and there were just rewards for her with a second half hat-trick of tries, to make 5 in total.
Overall it was a very encouraging Castleford RUFC Girls' team performance with everyone playing their part and it would be a little unfair to pick out individuals but there were a number of players showing how application and growing confidence can produce very pleasing outcomes. Thanks go to Mansfield for making the trip and who were strong and competitive throughout and contributed fully to the enjoyment.
Thanks also to parents and families and other spectators for their support.
We all wish Faith Thorp a speedy recovery.