Castleford Girls enjoy return to rugby action

It was a great return to rugby for Castleford RUFC Girls as their U18s enjoyed their match away at Old Brodleians.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:00 am
Driving forward: Melissa Howden in the thick of the action for Castleford RUFC Girls U18s against Old Brodleians. Picture: Richard Gould

Both clubs’ players, coaches, parents and spectators enjoyed the game, the skills and endeavour on show and the spirit in which the game was played as it emphasised what the girls had missed over the past 18 months.

Out of necessity there were reduced numbers on the field but everyone wanted to be there and played their part in a keenly fought and exciting game where the result did not really matter.

Making her debut for the U18s, Millie Gould showed her acceleration to finish well in the corner after a good steal by an energetic and always committed captain Sophie Fairhurst.

Gould added another try, speeding away and showing a clean pair of heels to run three quarters of the pitch to score.

After a flowing attack, Fairhurst popped up again on the left and finished well.

Great opportunism by Melissa Howden allowed her the necessary room to score.

The defences of both sides tackled well throughout and adapted to the newly introduced law on tackle height.

Lily Williams broke a number of tackles for the first of her pair of tries and, not to be outdone, Ruby Parker stole a ball, turned swiftly and dotted down for her first try in an U18s’ shirt.

Old Brods were not daunted and their captain, Gracie Mynott, went over for a try.

However, throughout the match the Castleford girls used their greater experience to good effect to draw defenders, pass and release support players with great handling and one such interchange between Fairhurst and Howden led to Howden’s second try. She completed her hat-trick when stealing a ball and turning immediately to dive over the try line.

Abbie Millward next darted through defenders to score.

Emily Heaps combined with other backs and was unselfish in her distribution. Phoebe Senior was always a threat going forward and Williams completed her haul with another ball steal.

The last try saw Lilia Rank and Shania Lawrence seal off an attack, allowing Lawrence to force her way over.

The U18s’ next game is at home to Hull Ionians on Sunday.