Cornwall girls under 15s set off bright and early for the first of their three games against Oxfordshire at Banbury RFC.
Due to an accident en route and the changing rooms not being ready the girls only had a short period of time to warm up and to shake the journey out of their systems, not ideal preparation. .
Playing the first half down the slightest of slopes on a firm pitch with a bit of sunshine Cornwall failed to claim the ball from kick off knocking on. Undeterred Cornwall’s pack took the first scrum against the head, the ball spun wide to the blindside winger Abby Smith who from 30 meters beat her opposite number and full back to open the scoring for the visitors, that try lifted the girls.
A short while later Oxfordshire put together a good few phases to drive over the line for a converted try and a 7-5 lead.
After gaining a scrum in a good field position in the Oxfordshire half the Cornwall pack showed their strength and dominance winning the ball before putting together a number of phases allowing lock Evie Asman to crash over for a try converted by centre Chloe Vickery.
Oxfordshire bounced back with an unconverted try to level the game at 12-all.
With a minute or so left on the clock in the first half Cornwall had another scrum this time in their own 22, winning the ball Cornwall moved the ball to full back Laura Griggs who showed great pace beating the cover from distance to dot down under the post for Vickery to convert leaving Cornwall 19-12 up at half-time.
Cornwall started the second half the way they finished the first half dominating field position and possession, however play was halted for a period following a neck injury to Cornwall’s No.8 Kacey Rexworthy requiring the game to be completed on an adjoining pitch.
Oxfordshire put Cornwall under pressure from the re-start but Cornwall defended well turning the ball over on their 5 metre line with Griggs relieving the siege with a powerful run out of defence up to halfway.
Cornwall settled starting to put the phases together as the forwards and backs combined inside the Oxfordshire 22 resulting in replacement Charlotte Newstead crossing the whitewash for the only score of the half.
Speaking after the game coach Kevin Williams said. “With minimal preparation time and the long distance to travel we all thought we were in for a difficult day at the office but these young ladies showed brilliant commitment and team spirit from start to finish.
Cornwall’s pack was fantastic at the break down with lots of turnovers coming from lock Megan Moriarty whilst the Cornish scrum was dominant throughout.
“A special mention needs to go to centre Chloe Vickery for stepping up to take the conversions, having never taken one before, she converted two out of four.”
Cornwall U.15: Laura Giggs, Abby Smith, Flo Bawden, Chloe Vickery, Jenna Dymond, Anna German, Chloe Shrosbree (Capt); Megan Clifford, Pyper Karkeek, Chelsea Cortis, Megan Moriarty, Kacey Rowe, Evie Asman, Sophie Daniel, Kacey Rexworthy.
Replacements: Mollie Maycock, Paige Clarke, Emily Hosking, Evie Curnow, Charlotte Newstead, Kizzy Dymond, Olivia Rowland