RHIANNON Ridgway scored a try in every match at Stratford Ladies started the new season by taking joint fourth place in their Super Sunday tournament at Leominster.
Ridgway was Stratford’s player of the tournament as the ten-strong squad, under new coach Elliot Smith and new captain Rebecca Charles, narrowly missed out on winning the Plate, based on the number of tries scored in the pool matches.
“‘I was immensely proud of all ten of them,” said Smith. “Whichever six were on the field there were very positive performances from all of them. There are a few things we now need to work on in training.”
The group matches were all against opposition from the South West Midlands League.
Some excellent defensive work and interceptions by Rachel McGovern and strong attacking options from Jessie Darling were on display in the 1-0 win against hosts Luctonians in the opening game. The breakthrough came following a good team move resulting in Ridgway scoring in the corner.
Ridgway then put Stratford ahead against Super Sunday trophy holders Ledbury. Stratford debutant Cara Finn and Becki Coombe both impressed and captain Charles and McGovern orchestrated the move which allowed Ridgway to score.
A 1-0 lead at half-time was well deserved, but Ledbury hit back in the second half with two quickfire scores to win 2-1.
Stratford dominated possession but handling errors saw a number of opportunities go astray in their final pool match against Bredon 2nds until Kat Lucas used her speed to make the breakthrough score. Ridgway added a second to seal a 2-0 win.
The results left Stratford in the Plate (second tier) competition and they opened with a slick 4-0 victory against Woodrush.
Charles spearheaded the attack and executed a lovely training ground move to break their defence to open the scoring.
An excellent individual effort by Charles made it 2-0 and Hollie Fletcher used a lovely step and turn of speed to race through from the half way line to score an excellent third try.
With the match wrapped up, the team exploited a retreating Woodrush defence and Ridgway scored again in the corner to make it 4-0.
The final game against Ross-on-Wye was evenly balanced but a momentarily lapse allowed Ross to open the scoring.
Stratford worked hard to get back into the game with Julie Allison and Caz Farris routinely making metres and creating some good attacking opportunities and they were rewarded in the dying minute when Ridgway used her pace on the outside to level the score at 1-1.