Ladies show spirit but trophy evades them in Murrayfield final

Samantha Lowe feels the force of a Garioch tackle. Pic: Michael Mellon
Samantha Lowe feels the force of a Garioch tackle. Pic: Michael Mellon

On what was a perfect day for rugby, Kirkcaldy Ladies took to the back pitch of Murrayfield in the BT Women’s Bowl final against Garioch.

The pitch itself was hard underfoot, which possibly accounted for a few injuries.

Louise Heggie contests a line-out in the shadow of Murrayfield. Pic: Michael Mellon

Louise Heggie contests a line-out in the shadow of Murrayfield. Pic: Michael Mellon

An early blow was dealt after only eight minutes when Kirkcaldy lost the services of full-back Fiona Milne to a hamstring injury.

Garioch opened the scoring with a penalty before Nicki Redpath replied with one of her own, to make it 3-3 after the first quarter.

More injury woes for Kirkcaldy saw Redpath having to be replaced by Sandra Laird, and whilst still adjusting the backline their opponents took advantage and scored out wide to move ahead.

Kirkcaldy went ahead for the first time thanks to a Linda Morrison try out wide, with Brenda Brogan nailing a tricky conversion.

However, Garioch regained the lead via a converted try, when their replacement fly-half intercepted a pass from what looked like an offside position to score under the posts and make it 10-15 at half-time.

The Ladies had to rally themselves again for the final 40 minutes of their season but it was the Inverurie-based side who scored next.

A strong run by the opposition centre took her to the try line where she seemed to drop the ball, but the officials awarded the try.

Garioch added a further seven points with a non-debatable try to take a 19 point lead into the final quarter.

Kirkcaldy’s team spirit was called into action again and the response was immense.

The forwards started to run harder, keeping the ball and with growing momentum, resulting in Hayley Samuel scoring to give her side a much-needed boost.

After a couple of long breaks in play for Garioch injuries the game restarted with 15 minutes still to play and two converted tries needed.

Samuel scored again to set up a nervous last five minutes but unfortunately the time ran out on the season, 20-29 the final score.

Coach Stuart Cameron commented: “Congratulations to Garioch. Despite the result not going our way it has been a great season for the Ladies.

“Our new coaching team and new players have gelled to produce a team of hard working talented individuals who are still learning.”

Kirkcaldy: Fiona Milne; Carrie-Anne Downs, Nicki Redpath, Hayley Samuel, Kayleigh Laing; Brenda Brogan, Linda Morrison; Karen Small, Deborah Stephenson, Rowan McNeil, Louise Heggie, Alison Massie (c), Cassie McMahon, Emma Dyce, Emma Buckley. Replacements: Jordyn Cooper, Mhairi Cockburn, Kiera Gavan, Elaine Myles, Ailidh McCall, Samantha Lowe, Sandra Laird.