Under-15 girls' team finish campaign on a high
DEVON Under-15 girls finished their South West Counties’ campaign with a 100 per cent record thanks to 38-0 victory over Cornwall at Drybrook.
The win followed on from successes over Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire and meant they finished as the top side in the South West.
Impressively, the team have only conceded 12 points in all three of their matches this season.
Cornwall were much bigger and direct then Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and, playing up the slope first half, Devon had to be patient.
Scrummaging was tough but a turnover in midfield saw a number of good phases leading to Chloe Phillips cutting a sharp line to go in under the posts. Captain Olivia Churcher converted the try.
Cornwall responded and spent a considerable amount of time on the Devon line, but heroic defence from forward-of-the-match Phoebe Bishop and vice-captain Isabella Hartley saw them clear their lines.
A second try was soon added when good interplay in midfield from Emily Whane saw Asia-Mae Newton shrug a number of tackles only to be stopped short of the line. However, Churcher was there to snipe from the base of the resulting ruck.
And almost immediately Devon added a third try. A well-structured attack led from a break from Daisy Womack saw the ball spread wide to Tilly Ryall, who finished well to make it 21-0 at half-time.
Devon rang the changes at the interval with all seven replacements entering the field.
This influx of fresh legs continued to limit Cornwall ball with strong line-speed in defence and turnovers in the tackle.
A period of stalemate followed as both sides attacked well. Cornwall looked likely to score as the ball was shipped wide, but, in a moment of excellence, Abi Froom took a gamble and striped the ball from her opposite number in a one-on-one tackle and then ran half the length of the field to score the try of the game.
Cornwall continued to attack, but found themselves struggling to maintain the ball in the tackle. Back-of-the-match Tilly Ryall was particularly notable in turning ball over in the midfield.
This continued pressure in defence saw Cornwall pinned back 30m to their own line and eventually Jessica Phillips pounced on a split ball over the try line for a great opportunist score.
There was just enough time for one more restart before time was up and Devon certainly made the most of it.
Devon Under-18 girls also ended their campaign on a high. They overcame Cornwall 50-0 to finish with two wins out of three.