Winscombe Rugby Club girls left delighted after securing a superb South West double

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 March 2020

Winscombe's under-18 girls celebrate

Winscombe's under-18 girls celebrate

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Winscombe Rugby Club had double reason to cheer after their under-18 and under-15 girls were both crowned South West champions this season.

Izzy Taylor attacks on the wing for WinscombeIzzy Taylor attacks on the wing for Winscombe

The elder group defeated defending champions Pulborough for the first time in over two years to claim their title.

They opened the scoring midway through the first half when Lauren Powell scored from a quick penalty in the Pulborough 22, sprinting in at the corner from April Callanan’s pass after a slick backs move.

It proved to be the only score of the half as both sides put in some great tackles and showed fantastic defence, with the second period turning into a battle of the fittest.

Winscombe extended their lead after a spell of sustained pressure as a quick ball to fly-half Jess Walrond was moved to centre Grace WHite and the speedy Shannon Webb, who forced her way past two defenders to touch down.

Winscombe under-15s scrum for the ballWinscombe under-15s scrum for the ball

Walrond added the conversion to make it 12-0, but Pulborough hit back with a try out on the left wing after creating an overlap with 20 minutes to play.

Winscombe continued to defend with dogged determination and quick hands resulted in Webb going over for her second try of the match four minutes from time to clinch a 17-5 victory.

The under-15s, meanwhile, saw off their Basingstoke rivals to win their crown and book a place in the national semi-finals for the second year running.

In testing conditions at Cheltenham Rugby Club, they took an early lead with a Harriet Griffiths penalty.

Harriet Griffiths prepares to kick a conversion for Winscombe under-15sHarriet Griffiths prepares to kick a conversion for Winscombe under-15s

Forwards dominated in the tackle and at the breakdown, with great support from the backs, and Winscombe saw number eight Maisie Johns and prop Maisie Mitchell cross for converted tries to make it 17-0 at half-time.

Basingstoke hit back soon after the restart with a converted try of their own and applied pressure on Winscombe during a nervous passage of play.

But after some excellent blitz defence, counter rucking and strong running through midfield, Winscombe saw Isabel Clarke force her way under the posts to seal a 24-7 victory.

A club spokesperson said: “The under-15 girls’ set-up has been blessed with some great numbers at Winscombe. With a squad of up to 40 players, they have been able to field two competitive sides on Sundays.

“The grassroots of this success is built through the girls in the mini section and most importantly the under-13 girls, which is the primary feeder for our senior girls teams without which we wouldn’t have the numbers and success we’ve had.

“Anyone who thinks they would like to experience the game and have a go, please make contact through the Winscombe RFC website, become a Warrior and experience ‘friendship through rugby’.”

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