On a crisp and sunny Sunday afternoon, Liberton Ladies bared their teeth against a battling Royal Dick Vets team to put the past few weeks behind them and claim an impressive home victory. Big hits and powerful carries were the order of the day, read on for excessive hyperbole and sensationalised reporting…
Off to a quick start
The late November air carried a biting chill and ‘edge of your seat’ anticipation as Liberton were straight out of the blocks in this shortened sixty minute game with flanker Laura McLaren finishing off an excellent move to burst through the defensive line and score in the corner, earning her a first try and a score that has been a long time coming. Unfortunately for Laura, her matchday heroics ended as soon as she stepped off the pitch when attempting to down her first try pint. To call it a horror show would be kind.
The shortened match still proved to be too long for some as left winger Josie Williams was down in a record 12 seconds, succumbing to a recurring knee problem and cementing an early dick of the day nomination. (In fairness, Usain Bolt rarely ran for more than 11 seconds and he’s a household name, so…).
As the game progressed, Liberton continued to apply the pressure with fly half Hayley Ross breaking through the line with a number of fantastic carries, keeping a difficult opponent honest. The threat from the home side was multi-faceted and the crowd, packed into the park like sardines, were treated to another try in quick succession as Centre, Rachel Smith, ever a thorn in the oppositions side broke loose to put the burners on and run half the pitch to double the score.
Team work and individual brilliance
Two tries down, Royal Dick continued to front up in defence and make life difficult, but today was our day as we saw an excellent combination of teamwork, sprinkled with individual brilliance as Liberton crossed the try line again, with Rachel stepping players like an impala in full stride to add another 5 to the scoreline and taking us up to the halftime whistle. 15-0.
As the fans filtered back onto the sidelines, the second half kicked off and it was more of the same from Liberton, who came close to an early second half try but for some staunch defending from an away side that refused to roll over.
The fans didn’t have to wait long though as effervescent Centre Kirsty Fitzsimmons, making her first appearance for Libby and back after a long ankle injury got in on the act, taking a great line and finishing a slick attacking move to take us to 20-0.
As the game wore on, tired legs and a well fought contest saw a few replacements, who came on without skipping a beat, continuing to apply the pressure in a scrum that dominated all game and turning the screw in attack.
Mid-way through the half, Rachel was at it again and in a carbon copy of her first try, took the ball in her own half and gassed the defence to score her third try of the game, sending the crowd into absolute raptures! This was highlight reel stuff right here.
Deep into the second half, Kirsty was adding to her own highlight reel, taking a great line and breaking through the defence to secure her second try of the game, with the conversion expertly slotted by Rachel on a windy afternoon. 32-0.
It wouldn’t be a Liberton win without a try from the excellent Bex, who had ran hard all day and almost scored her own breakaway try minutes earlier, this time crashing through and slamming the ball down centimetres over the touchline, with the try again being converted, this time by Hayley, taking us to a final score of 39-0.
Seeing the game out
In a game where the attack was on fire, it’d be easy not to mention the defensive effort from the home side, however there were some absolutely huge hits going in all game, keeping a strong running side at bay and earning a fantastic shut out. Royal Dick were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet and played hard all game, but the plaudits must go to Liberton for this one who were truly firing on all cylinders.
Pints, Pints, Pints!
It was a game where player of the match could have gone to anyone on the pitch, which is a testament to just how well Hayley Ross and Rachel Smith played, taking the Liberton and Royal Dick nominations respectively.
There were a few pints for first tries here in this one with Laura (who also took the most improved player award) and Kirsty both getting on the scoresheet for the first time!
Dick of the day went to Josie Williams for falling to the fastest injury in the history of world sports.
A massive thanks to Royal Dick Vets for a tough and well contested game, our ladies certainly needed their pints after that one.
Up next for Liberton is a 3rd vs 4th place clash against Strathmore away on Sunday 28 November, 14:00 kick off.
Let’s go get ‘em!
Final score – Liberton 39 – RDVC 0
Try scorers – Laura McLaren, Rachel Smith x 3, Kirsty Fitzsimmons x 2, Rebekah Nolan
Conversions – Rachel Smith x1, Hayley Ross x1
Player of the match – Hayley Ross
Dick of the day – Josie Williams
Most improved – Laura McLaren
Opposition nominated PoM – Rachel Smith