NC 3 North
Gateshead RUFC Ladies 0 v Percy Park RFC Panthers 57
Parks Panthers comfortable winners at 'The Heed'.
Sunday saw the Panthers travel across the Tyne bridge to take on a Gateshead side playing their first season in NC3.
A determined looking Panthers side, whilst dominating possession, looked nervous in the first 10 minutes and it took a pick and go try, from Emily Mather to settle their nerves.
Dom Hepples converted to make it 0-7 with 13 minutes played.
Confidence appeared to ooze through the Panthers ranks thereafter and following a strong run by Marie Watson the ensuing ruck was recycled quickly and an offload from Amy Jennings to Nesha Wood, lurking in the centre, saw her run in an arcing try on the right-hand side of the pitch finishing under the posts to make Dom Hepples conversion straightforward.
16 minutes played 0- 14 to the Panthers.
Three minutes later a strong tackle from Emily Mather on the opposition 22 saw the ball successfully turned over by Amy Jennings and quick hands from Clari Beaumont saw Liv Shanks making a strong run deep into the Gateshead 22, before floating a 6m pass to Paige Wood to score in the corner for Paige's first score in a Panthers shirt.
Dom Hepples conversion attempt fell just short.
Gateshead 0-Panthers 19.
The first half scoring ended with a pearl of a try from Amy Jennings after Nesha Wood pounced on a loose ball from a scrum on the Panthers 22 before offloading to Amy, on the 10m line, who glided round the Gateshead centres before bouncing their fallback to the ground and outpacing four defenders to score under the posts.
Dom Hepples conversion attempt, which the referee insisted was to be a drop kick, went narrowly wide.
Half-time Gateshead 0- Panthers 24-bonus point in the bag!
The start of the second half saw the Panthers emptying their bench and bringing on seven pairs of fresh legs.
The Panthers started strongly and scored within a minute of the restart when a double tackle from Kat Taylor and Jenny Wood combined to force an error from ex Panther, Anna Ford, which was snapped up by Chloe and transferred quickly to Anna Dryden who found Steph Gicquel in space. Quick ball from the ruck saw Amber Cassells put Liv Shanks through the gap. Liv darted through beating two defenders before selflessly offloading to Paige Wood on the left wing outside of the Gateshead 22 to allow Paige to put the afterburners on and scorch around the full back to finish under the posts for her second try of the day.
Amber Cassells converted to make it Gateshead 0- Panthers 31.
15 minutes into the second half and Steph Gicquel scored her first try of the game after the culmination of some excellent team play.
The Panthers pack won a scrum on their 10m line and swift hands from Chloe Bland to Amber Cassells followed by a miss move in the centres gave Sarah-Jane Laybourne an opportunity on the right wing but Liv's pass went astray. The loose pass was snapped up by Emily Mather on the Panthers 22 who drove forward to the 10m line to offload to Amber who set up the ruck and Emily and Anna Dryden secured quick ball for a galloping Kat Taylor to charge into contact and reset the ruck and quick hands gave Steph an opportunity to charge clear and race 50 metres to score under the post.
Amber scuffed the conversion Gateshead 0-Panthers 36.
12 minutes later it was Dom Hepples turn to add to the scoreline when from a scrum on the right side of the Gateshead 22 Nesha popped the ball up to Emily who popped the ball to Dom who crashed through three tackles to finish under the posts.
Amber converted to make it Gateshead 0-Panthers 43.
Three minutes later Steph Gicquel completed her brace of tries for the day when from the kick-off Sarah-Jane Laybourne stepped inside, took contact on the Panthers 10m line and Steph charged onto the pass from the ruck before running 50m to score to the left of the posts.
Amber converted the try to make the score Gateshead 0-Panthers 50.
Five minutes later saw the final try of the game when Emily Mather picked up from the base of the scrum on the halfway line before stepping inside her opposite number and leaving three Gateshead players for dead before running round the fallback and scoring under the posts.
Dom Hepples completed the conversion to make the final score Gateshead 0-Panthers 57.
No one had told Gateshead that the game was over, however, and for the last 10 minutes of the game they piled pressure on to the Panthers defence who defended bravely with Anna Dryden and Caitlin Monteith-Stokoe making two particularly important tackles in the dying minutes to keep Gateshead to nil.
Breathless stuff which took the Panthers to the top of National Challenge(North) 3 for the first time in their history and made the Club President, Keith Atkinson, the first Park President to have his women’s and Men’s senior sides top of their respective leagues simultaneously .