Woodbridge Amazons down Southwold Swallows in Suffolk rugby derby
PUBLISHED: 13:52 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:52 10 October 2017
Women’s National Championships East 1
Southwold Swallows 0
Woodbridge Amazons 40
The bragging rights in Suffolk returned south to Woodbridge on Sunday as the Amazons blew away the Swallows of Southwold, writes Ian Girling.
Two seasons ago the Swallows inflicted a painful defeat over the Amazons, made worse by the fact two long serving Woodbridge starlets had defected to their northern neighbours.
They were promoted that year but found the going a little too tough against the London sides, and this year the local derby is back on.
Nobody predicted a 40 point win for the travelling Woodbridge side this time around, but the scoreline accurately reflects the nature of their dominance, and also underlines their growing stature in Eastern Counties ladies rugby.
As early as the opening kick off, the signs looked good for Woodbridge. Skipper Claire Brickley’s kick was knocked on, an excellent drive in the scrum led to number eight Carmel Leak gaining ground, quick ball from the ruck saw scrum half Morvern McAlpine feed Brickley and she raced in from 15 metres. Robyn Gordon added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
It wasn’t long until Beth Clapson extended the lead by finishing off a sweeping move through numerous pairs of hands. 12-0.
Winger Katherine Mead came close to scoring a third try, but it was Brickley who took advantage of a quickly tapped penalty to grab her second from right in front of the posts. Gordon converted for a 19 point lead at the break.
In the second half the visitors made good use of their replacements, while the hosts were forced into making changes when fly half Jaye Ash was helped off after lengthy treatment.
This actually improved things dramatically as the long serving and hugely talented Chantelle Gallagher moved into the role and immediately got things moving.
Huge performances from the likes of Frances Saunders, Kat Sidoli and Karen Black, doing the dirty legwork all over the park kept Southwold from scoring, while further converted scores from Leak, prop Toni Bell and the hat-trick score by Brickley, completed a tremendous away performance.
A great balance between forwards and backs, playing with structure throughout, bodes extremely well for the future of the Amazons, but for now the ladies can simply enjoy being Suffolk’s finest.