WELLESBOURNE finished runners-up in the second North East Midlands Ladies touch rugby tournament of the season, whilst the rapidly developing Stratford team secured fifth spot.
Wellesbourne headed into Sunday’s event at Camp Hill buoyed by victory in the opening tournament at Pinley and their confidence was evident as captain Natasha Rose’s early try secured a 1-0 win over the hosts.
Rugby outfit Old Laurentians were then put to the sword 3-0 through tries from Kara Boal and Claire Davis (2) before scores from Rose (2) and Davis sealed a 3-1 success against Stratford.
A 4-0 win against Rugby St Andrews put Bourne into the final against Redditch and the sides served up a great encounter.
Rose and Davis were again on the mark for Wellesbourne but, with the score 2-2 in the final minute, Redditch broke through Bourne’s defence to score the winning try.
The Stratford team, again focused on recruitment and development this season, faced a tough schedule as they played five matches in succession.
Rebecca Charles’ try helped Stratford to a 1-1 draw against Camp Hill in their opening game, which was followed by a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Old Laurentians despite a score from Phillipa Mason following a superb shimmy.
Stratford’s player of the tournament Heather Britton capped an excellent move with a try which put Stratford ahead against Redditch but the eventual winners proved too strong and won 5-2 despite a second try for Stratford from captain Jane McGovern.
Jessica Darling was Stratford’s scorer in the 3-1 loss to Wellesbourne, which was followed by the final match against Rugby St Andrews in which Stratford saved their best until last.
Some superb team play and fast ball distribution allowed Rachel McGovern to score a brace and Britton added a third through some great individual skill to win the game 3-0.
Stratford coach Richard Pepperell said: “We looked dangerous with the ball throughout the tournament, which we haven’t always, and our communication improved markedly.
“We have been working on this and have neglected defensive training a little, which we will work on. My main positive though was our team spirit and ethic.
“Every player worked hard. It is great to see they are a team now, playing for each other, desperate not to the let the person next to you down. I am very proud of the squad for that and we are definitely going in the right direction.”
New players are welcome at Stratford. Training takes place at Pearcecroft on Tuesdays from 7pm.
The next competition is a full Midlands Ladies ‘Super Sunday’ event at Ledbury on May 20.