St Mary’s Year 9 Girls Rugby team travelled to St Thomas More Blaydon tonight for an Inter-School Competition also including Durham Johnstone. St Mary’s faced Durham Johnstone first and quickly got stuck in defensively, making tackle after tackle to stop the opposition from breaking through. Eve Pugmire was outstanding in defence playing full the full-back position, shutting down every break which came her way with some tremendous tackling. Georgia Hull, Holly Egan, Emily Smith and Maryelen Drossou each made excellent tackles to prevent try scoring opportunities, but the effort of the whole team to tackle every opponent who came their way was a pleasure to see. The girls competed hard throughout the match but their inexperience in the ruck cost them a lot of possession, and despite their defensive effort they were beaten 5-0.
In the second match of the round robin St Mary’s played St Thomas More Blaydon and the girls started the match with much more confidence. Stealing the ball after a tackle by Katie Motion, Eve Pugmire raced away from the defence with the ball, scoring St Mary’s first try of the day. Ella Shanahan was leading from the front and made several excellent tackles, well supported by Tia Batey, Eleanor Kingham and Vianne Hawkins. The girls conceded to make it 1-1 but immediately hit back again with an excellent try from Katie Motion. A strong run from Maryelen took the ball within 5m of the tryline but she was held up just short. STM Blaydon hit back with 3 tries to take the lead, but St Mary’s again came back with another try from Eve Pugmire. The girls fought hard but were unable to make the breakthrough to tie the game, and a final try in the last minute sealed the win for St Thomas More Blaydon.
Despite being beaten in both fixtures the girls can be really proud of their efforts in the game, displaying some outstanding defence to repel wave after wave of opposition attacks. It was a pleasure to watch from the sidelines and sets the girls up nicely for the rest of the year, with festivals at Kingston Park coming up later in October and November. I was very proud of the performance of the whole team this evening, with the commitment in defence shown by all of the girls being commented on by both opposition staff members.
Player of the Day – Eve Pugmire – Eve was the best player on the pitch tonight, making numerous try saving tackles, taking on the opposition’s biggest and strongest player repeatedly and coming out on top 100% of the time. Eve did not miss a tackle all night, and scored 2 excellent tries showing her speed and agility to outpace the defence.
The Team – Katie Motion, Eve Pugmire, Ella Shanahan, Brea Chatto, Iris Kasar, Holly Egan, Georgia Hull, Holly Cape, Tia Batey, Emily Smith, Vianne Hawkins, Esme Swann, Maryelen Drossou, Eleanor Kingham.