By Ian Baxter
On Saturday June 7th women from all over Great Britain and Ireland converged in Newcastle to play the Tyne Tees Tigers Women’s team at North Shields Rugby Club. The visiting team, the Convicts, were able to boast 2 Irish internationals, a French international, a couple of experienced Australians and no less than 4 of the always well drilled Glasgow Sharks side. It was clear that these girls would be no pushovers, especially for the Tigers side who were all playing in either their first or second game of Aussie Rules.
In a 9 –a-side game played over 4x 15 minute quarters, both teams showed skill, flair and commitment that at times belied the heavy rain and always slippery conditions. During the first quarter playing with the wind and some luck the Tigers took control of the game whilst the convicts got to grips with the conditions and their new team mates. Convicts ruck recruit Rachel ‘Killa’ Kilmartin used her height to dominate the ruck contest from the get go, but the hard running of Tigers midfielders Lucy Kavanagh, Polly Moane, and Michelle Healy coupled with the strong marking of forward Jordy Lane allowed the Tigers to take a 25 point lead into the first break.
1Q: Tyne Tees Tigers 4.2.26 Convicts 0.1.1
The second quarter saw the Convict Tia Bool work her way more into the game with her Australian experience and class on the ball evident to all, allied with the pacy running of Kirsty Gray saw Bool kick the convicts first goal of the game. But it wasn’t to be, as a stellar quarter by the Tigers midfielder Lynn Mitchell saw her kick 3 goals and attract the attention and chants of the growing crowd as the Tigers piled on 5 goals to take a 50 point lead into the half time break.
HT: Tyne Tees Tigers 9.3.57 Convicts 1.1.7
In the Third quarter again the convicts stepped it up with the run and carry of the Irish pair Carolann Cass and Fiona Roarty coming to the fore. Enabling French International Gaelle Hazimeh to double the vistors goal tally. But a comeback wasn’t to be as the Tigers defence of Grace Campbell and Tanya Scully marshalled by the majestic Lisa McHugh, were able to deal with the attack and rebound effectively allowing the hard working forwards of Jordy Lane, Karen Keane and Nicola McLaughlin to add another 5 goals to the Tiger tally.
3QT Tyne Tees Tigers 14.4.88 Convicts 2.1.13
The final quarter saw some tired legs continuing to compete over the rain sodden ground with Glasgow Sharks representatives Evelyn McGee, Kristi Jo Fawcett and Sarahmairead McLachlan standing their ground as they had all day, through the midfield and backline against a strong tigers attacking formation. The Tigers added another 2 goals to finish up the winners by 88 pts and not even the weather could dampen the spirits of the players and crowd who’d enjoyed themselves immensely that afternoon.
Final Tyne Tees Tigers 16.6.102 Convicts 2.2.14
The day was a great success and a positive step forward for the development of the game in Europe. The next planned ladies game in England will be held in London on the 21st of June as part of the Wimbledon Hawks Ladies Day. For more information contact Tia Bool firstname.lastname@example.org
Tigers: Lane 5 Mitchell, Healy 3 Keane 2 Kavanagh, Moane, McHugh 1
Convicts: Bool, Hazimeh 1
Tigers: Lucy Kavanagh (capt), Lisa McHugh, Jordy Lane, Lynn Mitchell, Nicola McLaughlin, Polly Moane, Michelle Healy, Tanya Scully, Karen Keane, Grace Campbell
Convicts: Tia Bool (Wimbledon Hawks), Gaelle Hazimeh (Wimbledon Hawks), Rachel Kilmartin (Wimbledon Hawks), Fiona Roarty (Belfast Kookaburras), Carolann Cass (Belfast Kookaburras), Kirsty Gray (Glasgow Sharks), Evelyn McGhee (Glasgow Sharks), Kristi Jo Fawcett (Glasgow Sharks), Sarah Mairead McLachlan (Glasgow Sharks)