Heartbreak for Lancaster in top of the league clash

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Photo by Martin Sutton

Lancaster 15-17 Bangor

A last gasp converted try saw Bangor end the four game undefeated streak of the Lancaster rugby Union women. The defeat also saw them slip to second in the league behind their Welsh title rivals.

Tries from Christina D Bjørnvall, Liv Anette Servan and Alex Simpson constituted Lancaster’s effort to the score sheet as a failure to convert some difficult kicks cost them dearly in a closely contested match.

The game got under way with Lancaster opening the score early. A fantastic running line by centre Alex Simpson worked its way into the hands of flanker Christina D Bjørnvall who touched down easily on the far side of the pitch. Unfortunately, Simpson could not add the two points.

Bangor responded strongly, forcing a desperate try saving tackle from Simpson on the near side after a missed tackle by full back Liz Ashworth sent Bangor through.

After a phenomenal start by the Lancaster centre, Simpson led the next attack with a fantastic break taking play past the Bangor twenty two. Only a crucial tackle by the Bangor full back denied Simpson from reaching the line.

With the home side firmly on the front foot, Bangor looked towards their full back to inspire the team and that she did with a huge break down the far wing, bringing the scores level with thirteen minutes gone.

In what was undoubtedly a battle of the two talismans, Simpson stepped up to the plate once more. Despite the poor initial pass, a phenomenal one armed catch sent Simpson on her way as she danced through the Bangor defence with fantastic pace and change of direction to take Lancaster just short of the try line. A pick and drive saw Liv Anette Servan barge over at close range for the unconverted try.

With five points the difference, Lancaster appeared to have the edge over Bangor going into half time with missed kicks to touch and handling errors costing the away side dearly. A substitution for the home side with Charlotte Neal coming on in replace of Simpson and an injury to a Bangor player, ended the proceedings of the first half.

It did not take long for the away side to bounce back in the second half as the ever dangerous Bangor full back slipped through the defensive line leaving opposing full back Liz Ashworth wrong footed.

With the score line tied and Simpson back on the pitch, it became obvious that it was anyone’s game. A stolen ball at the Lancaster lineout sent Bangor’s full back charging down the left flank only for her to be forced into touch.

By the fifty five minute mark, play began to become bogged down by a series of penalties and knock on’s, but Lancaster were the first team to break the deadlock with a well deserved try for Alex Simpson. A turnover close to the half way line sent Lancaster on an attack down the near side of the pitch involving some fantastic passing and offloading from the likes of Ellie Sutherland and Christina D Bjørnvall untill Simpson got the final touchdown.

Bangor refused to roll over and die and wearing her heart on her sleeve, the Bangor full back launched two blistering attacks down each flank. On one occasion, the away side could have scored had it not been for some poor passing which saw them fail to use their overlap.

With the pressure on, and Lancaster pushed right up against their own try line, the ill fated try came as Bangor bundled over to level the score. The game rested on a knife edge as the Bangor kicker stepped up to take the conversion. With calm composure, she slotted the ball through the posts with a drop goal effort much to the jubilation of the travelling team.

The game finished 17-15 to Bangor much to the display of the home side. Lancaster will be kicking themselves that they were unable to close out a game in which they were always a step ahead of their opposition. The home side showed far more class and consistency compared to Bangor who seemed to be plagued by mistakes and who relied heavily on the talents of their full back to bring them within reach of Lancaster. Ultimately, Lancaster can count themselves very unlucky not to have won the game.

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