STRATFORD Ladies finished runners-up in the Midlands Ladies Touch League Super (Bowl) event, featuring sides from the Midlands South West and North East divisions.
Coach Rich Pepperell and his players have approached the 2017 season as a developmental year, ensuring all members of the nine-strong squad available on the day were able to get lots of game time without the pressure of league position being at stake.
This is due to the fact this season’s Super events are being run as stand-alone competitions, where teams compete for the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Vase. There are no cumulative points for a Super Saturday league title.
Stratford found themselves in the ‘pool of death’ alongside Pinley (newcomers to the NE league this season), Ross and Pershore (top and second in the SW league respectively).
As only 13 teams had turned up, it was the only pool which had all four teams and no byes.
Stratford were edged out 1-0 by Ross in their opening game, before falling to a 5-0 defeat to Pershore.
Facing Pinley Blacks last, Stratford finally found some rhythm and the team opened up the space for the returning Rachel Browne to score her first try for Stratford.
This opened the floodgates and she ended the game with a hat-trick as Stratford won 4-0, with the fourth try coming from the other speedster Sophie Henry.
These results put Stratford in third place in the pool and playing for the Bowl, facing Old Coventrians in the semi-final.
Captain Jane McGovern crossed the whitewash for a brace and Henry added another two to her tally, whilst Stratford’s player of the tournament Jess Fox scored the try of the event for Stratford in a 5-1 success.
Newbold awaited in the final but, despite Henry scoring another brace, the second coming from a fantastic run and pass from Rachel McGovern, Stratford were edged out 3-2 in the ‘drop-off’.
The next Super Saturday is Stratford’s home tournament on July 15 at Stratford RFC, Pearcecroft, Loxley Road. The ladies train on Tuesday nights at the same venue from 6.30pm.