Gordano Ladies welcomed table topping Chipping Sodbury to "The Lane" with memories of a very physical encounter and heavy defeat,before Xmas fresh in their minds. After three months hard work, how far had the team really developed?
From the outset the girls took ownership of the day, led by tenacious skipper Lucy Hope they set themselves targets for the day and seemed determined to show the home crowd what they could do.
The Piranhas took the game to the opposition from the start, with half backs Leane Ball and Izzy Day revelling in the improved supply of ball from the forwards.
Up front Ursula Brown, Lauren MacDonald, Tash Bradley and Vicky Always work rate and go forward allowed the back row of Tracey Rollings, Lucia Gaetani and Ellie Shorrock to provide the continuity that had eluded the team in previous matches.
Day at Fly half controlled the attack with Katie Abbott and Vicky Crackett offering lines and distribution to the wider channels where Sam Robinson, Gill Gillings, Adele Taylor and flying full back Rae-Lee Pham attacked the space.
A massive feature of the game was the improvement in the physicality at the breakdowm and the improved connection in Defence. Coach Steve Gazzard commented " For the first time on Sunday I thought we played good rugby in attack and defence for 70 minutes and all played their part but the leaders in the team really shone through "
The game could have gone either way with the clash of styles and cultures enthralling for the spectators. Sodbury's more direct and structured play proved very effective at times, while Gordanos more open and passing play always tested the Sodbury defence.
With 5 minutes to go full back Pham scored her second try, converted by Day to make the scores level at 14 each. Sodbury then showed why they are top of the league, they recycled the kick off and kept the ball tight , driving at the heart of the Gordano defence. Finally resulting in a penalty kick , well struck by their outstanding kicker.
Gordano though came away very pleased with their days work and gratefully accepted the praise from all that have witnessed their growth over the season.
Special mention to Caz Goddard who returned from injury to bolster the numbers and add her experience in several positions. Defensively there were some outstanding performances with Shorrock,Gaetani, Hope and Taylor to the fore. In attack Ball, Rollings, Crackett, Abbott, Bradley and Pham always looked dangerous. However Player of the day goes to the ever improving and exciting prospect at 10 Izzy Day, who confidently ran the attack and impressed all who played with and watched her.
Reflecting on the performance Captain Lucy Hope said "I couldnt sleep Sunday night, I was so excited about the match, that game is why I play rugby."