Mum’s the word as ladies battle to the bitter end

West Norfolk 14 Ipswich 20

Mother’s Day is always special and even more so when you can play with your daughter, coach your daughter or simply have your children on the sideline cheering you on.

This is the position that West Ladies were in when they welcomed Ipswich for the return home fixture. Everything was laid on from food to music.

An invigorated West came to the field and it was obvious from the start that this match would be hard fought right until the end.

West Norfolk Rugby Club mums (63115756)
West Norfolk Rugby Club mums (63115756)

In what seems to be a habit for West, the first score came from Ipswich who took the ball from one side of the pitch to the other to find a hole in the defence and score. Ipswich were unable to convert.

No West heads dropped and the kick off started five minutes of solid defence that left Ipswich going nowhere until a penalty led to West regaining possession with the game going back-and-forth between the sides.

Zoe Sharp showed how dangerous she was with a break through the Ipswich line from behind the West try line to almost half way, with it taking three defenders to take her down.

West kept testing the Ipswich defence, coming closer and closer to that elusive try.

Team play from the forwards through to the backs saw Eleanor Middleton-Jones, who had been making some try saving tackles on the wing, almost get to the corner to score.

Finally, 25 minutes in the ball came from a lineout to Zoe Sharp who scored between the posts and confidently converted her own try, taking West to a 7-5 lead.

Despite consistent defending, Ipswich pressure on the West defensive line led to a second try for the visitors on the wing.

Unfortunately the angle was too acute for them and they failed to convert for a second time.

Rucks were aggressively contested and the ball was able to flow through the backs hands but the try line remained too distant and the half time score was 7-10.

After the break, an Ipswich penalty led to a break that threatened to end in a try but a strong tackle by Eleanor Navrady took the Ipswich player to the ground and off the pitch.

Even with play in West’s danger zone, nothing was made easy for Ipswich and play slowly moved back towards the halfway line but the Ipswich continuous pressure finally led to their third try.

An Ipswich error from the kick off led to Sharp smashing through in a straight line to score under the posts and convert, taking West to only one point behind the visitors.

Every ball was played and challenged, with West fighting hard to bring a home win.

Ella Fuller made a forceful break, twisting out of the Ipswich tackles to eventually force Ipswich into giving away a penalty but the black and yellow shirts formed an impenetrable line.

Finally, Ipswich managed to steal the ball in a ruck which resulted in a corner try with the score now at 14-20 with less than 7 minutes to go.

West played with fire in their bellies knowing that victory was only one try and a conversion away.

Ipswich were tested and a run from Raven Wales almost got to the line but was tackled and she somehow managed to keep the ball in play as she somersaulted out over the sideline.

The ball travelled to the other side of the pitch where Navrardy was metres from the try line before she was pulled to the ground

A West knock on ended the game with victory for Ipswich and West wishing for two minutes more so that their work would be rewarded.

Forward-of-the-match was Ella Fuller with her forceful turning runs and back-of-the-match Zoe Sharp for her tries and smashing through the holes in the Ipswich defence.

West Ladies train on Wednesday nights at Gatehouse Lane from 7pm. All ages and abilities are welcome. No experience is needed.