By Kate Clements - May 27 2009
WINNING START TO 2009 FOR PINK BA BAS The Pink Ba Bas kicked off 2009 in traditional style with a win at Old Cat’s. The tournament had to be hastily reorganised due to a number of teams withdrawing, but still acted as a good warm up for what will be a full season.
With just three teams entered it was decided that all teams would play each other, followed by a final between the two most successful teams. The first match was against Camberley who fielded a strong team to challenge the Ba Bas. Camberley put the Ba Bas under early pressure pushing them back to within metres of their own line. From a scrum the ball was fumbled with Camberley pouncing on it to open the scoring in the women’s tournament. From the resulting restart the Ba Bas worked the ball first left then right where Toni Corbin found the space to escape down the wing. Taking heed of Corbin’s advice to be on her tail if she broke, Liz Riley was there in support to score her first of the day. Camberley responded with a well worked try, once again taking them into the lead. But just before the half Jo ‘Sparkles’ O’Sullivan scored an individual try, which she then converted taking the Ba Bas into the half ahead by 2. The second half saw the Ba Bas gain control of the game. Janette Shaw drew the defence to release Liz to score under the posts. Sparkles then created a try by bursting through the middle, also scoring under the posts. The opening game of the tournament finished 28-10 to the Pink Ba Bas. Camberley had to recover quickly as they were playing in the next game against Old Cats, however they secured the win. When the Pink Ba Bas then faced Old Cats it was a fairly one-sided affair with two tries from Angharad (Gaz) Thomas, three from Liz Riley, and one each from Sparkles, Laura Smith and Kate Clements. The game ended 37-0, putting Camberley and the Ba Bas through to the final. Having now warmed up the Ba Bas began the final in much improved form with five tries before half time. The first came from prolific try scorer Riley whose pace took her round the outside to score. Sparkles then intercepted a Camberley pass which she converted into a Ba Bas try before Liz again crossed from a short pop off Sparkles. Debut Ba Ba Heather scored the next under the post, allowing her to kick the conversion. The final score of the half saw Clare Hoppe pounce on a loose ball in her own 22 before off loading to Sparkles. Hoppe was quickly back up on her feet and in support unleashing Tamsin who ran the majority of the length of the pitch to score. The second half saw the Ba Bas playing uphill and facing a resurgent Camberley. Not even Gaz’s brave defence could stop the first Camberley try which was quickly followed by more. Whilst the second half was not their greatest display, the Ba Bas had done more than enough to secure the victory 31-19. As usual, Old Cats acted as a good warm up to the season. The Sunshine 7s is just around the corner where the Ba Bas will hope to improve further on their performances whilst hoping to continue their winning ways. Squad List: Toni Corbin (Wasps), Clare Hoppe (Richmond), Laura Smith (Richmond), Janette Shaw (Novocastrians), Mel Antao (Harlequins), Kate Clements (Richmond), Angharad Thomas (Saracens), Tamsin Openshaw (Old Albanians), Jo O’Sullivan (Richmond), Liz Riley (Wasps), Heather Small-Younger (Novocastrians).