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Penrith RUFC hosted Cumbria’s first ever senior Women’s rugby union fixture against Northumbria on Sunday.
Cumbria started strongly from kick off, applying pressure to the Northumberland team and forcing them into an early mistake. This allowed the forwards to set a solid platform and the backs followed up making good yards up the pitch. The first try came from a solid line-out, Kati Brown taking it well and then shipped out to the backs quickly. Strong running in the centres put Hannah Sherlock over the line under the sticks for the first try to Cumbria. Northumberland came back strongly and pinned Cumbria back onto their try line, this sustained pressure eventually led to a penalty, Northumberland opted for the kick, and narrowly missed the sticks. The Cumbria team then worked hard to relieve the pressure and move the ball back into the other half of the park. After sustained pressure, it was the Cumbria team who took the next points when prop Lucy Meadley powered over the line from 5m out. Northumberland struck back, after Cumbria’s indiscipline around the fringes gave away an easy penalty which Northumberland capitalized on to get their first points on the board to take the score to 12-7. Great play from the centres in both defence and attack kept the Cumbrian’s on the offensive for large parts of the game, and it was this that led to Sherlocks second try after full back Julie Hope had jinked her way through the Northumberland defence. Sarah Elsy came off the bench in the second half, and carried the ball well in attack and tackled ferociously in defence which steadied the Cumbria team. In the last ten minutes it was the Cumbrians who looked more likely to score but unfortunately couldn’t quite find the final pass to break the Northumberland defence. Hope was unlucky not to get on the score board on two occasions in the final minutes of the game. The final score was 17-7 to the home team and it was a solid first game for the county side. Hannah Sherlock was coaches player and Lucy Meadley players player of the match. Cumbria’s under 18 girls combined with Durham to beat Northumberland 14-7, and the under 15s girl’s were beaten 20-14 in a tightly contested game. RFU council representative for Cumbria Roger Hackney said “It was great for the senior ladies county team to win their first game, and for the girls to host Northumberland across in Silloth, I’d like to thank all the volunteers who have worked behind the scenes to make it possible for Cumbria to compete at this level.”
The next County fixture will see both the seniors and girl’s take on Lancashire at the Vale of Lune on 12th of December.