THE SECOND Super Sunday tournament of the 2018 Midlands Ladies Touch League season yielded mixed emotions for Stratford Ladies.
There were individual positives for Stratford in the ten-team event at Pershore, not least the return to the fray of Maddie Rendell who has finished her A-levels, but they were only able to finish sixth.
Due to a last-minute injury to captain Jane McGovern, Bec Charles led Stratford who faced Bredon in their first match but they had only Rachel McGovern’s try to celebrate in a 2-1 defeat which arrived courtesy of a below-par performance.
A vastly superior performance followed against Berkswell & Balsall/Old Coventrians, with Stratford much more effective at both ends of the pitch in sealing a 4-0 victory through tries from Jess Fox, a maiden score for new recruit Julie Allison and a brace from Heather Britton.
North East Midlands League leaders Redditch – eight points ahead of third-placed Stratford – were next and the Warwickshire side were bitterly disappointed to lose 2-1 despite a fine display.
Becki Coombe scored Stratford’s try and would have had another but for confusion over which line to cross!
The final pool game was against Pershore and a solid team performance was rewarded with a 4-1 victory as Britton scored a hat-trick and Rachel McGovern also crossed.
Coach Richard Pepperell said this was the best Stratford performance of the season and the result meant Stratford finished third of five in their pool, putting them into the fifth/sixth place play-off for the Bowl against Wellesbourne.
However, Stratford were unable to maintain their momentum as the event ended on a sour note with a poor display and 5-0 defeat.
Watching from the sidelines, captain Jane McGovern said: “There were some positives – first tries, excellent scores, Philly’s (Mason) workrate, Laura’s (Middlemast) amazing lines and Caz’s (Farris) stellar defence – but we have to work on consistency and reducing little mistakes for the next tournaments.”
Stratford, for whom player of the tournament was Allison, return to action in the next North East Midlands League tournament is at Berkswell & Balsall on July 8 before hosting their own Super Sunday the following weekend.