Novos Ladies register an impressive start at home against not so Super Marine
By Fran Mockford
Hazy sunshine greeted this week’s visitors from that well known Northern town, Swindon, to NE7. With the RFU deciding over the close season that now clubs south of the Watford Gap can be considered northern, our visitors from Supermarine had faced an a
Those of you that are interested in World War 2 history (yes, there were two world wars for those of you in any doubt) I am sure the name Supermarine will conjure up thoughts of the Supermarine Spitfire pushing back the tide of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. A perfect comparison to the grit and determination demonstrated by our heroines in red, white and black.
However, firstly, an apology must be made that this match report will not be as coherent as you may have come to expect from the author. This was largely due to the ale consumed while celebrating the birthday of some radgie (for those of you not from the North (who the hell knows where the North is now anyway) radgie is a colloquial term for feisty) French woman.
Unfortunately, the writer cannot tell you about kick off due to uncharacteristic tardiness, however I was greeted at Sutherland Park by last season’s squad 23 member and Novos ever dependable full back Emily Oliver stretching out those long limbs to cross the white wash in front of my Aston Martin* with fellow squad 23 member and last season’s winner of the ‘Well manned the F**k Up’ award, Emma Nichol, slotting home the subsequent conversion.
The magnificent start got even better with our resident daughter of the valleys, Claire Davies, surging over the try line in the right hand corner sending the watching hordes into raptures.
Soon after, Ceri Storer was soaring like the afore mentioned Spitfires to steal a sloppy Supermarine line out, while excellent pressure from the entire Novos line, especially Lauren Roberts and Claire Davies smothered any Supermarine creativity. All the while Christine Miller barked out military orders that could be heard from Swindon. However, Supermarine were soon awarded a penalty, which my pitch side analysts reliably informed me was for being offside at the ruck, which they duly converted to make the score 12-3.
The Supermarine comeback was short lived as a wonderful break and interchange of play by Lauren Roberts led to her scoring Novos third try of the afternoon, once again converted by Nichol. The momentum continued to swing in Novocastrian’s favour with the irrepressible Welsh woman making a wonderful break through the defensive line and feeding Ysmin Prcotor-Kent who showed that front players can actually run, almost making it another score to Vos but being caught as she approached glory. The Novo’s pressure continued, this time Oliver finishing off a wonderful backs move. The sublime ‘crown’ move, executed perfectly by Nichol and the French woman who definitely didn’t have a headache, Fanny Fouin.
Thoughts turned from briefly from rugby after the re-start as spectators speculated what could be occurring on the pitch as Storer was supposedly overheard commenting that one of the opposition had “bit her bum”. Answers on a postcard please.
Returning to the match, Novos excellent first half was rounded off by the quick thinking of Fanny Fouin taking a quick tap penalty and touching down under the posts and some excellent tackling from Nichol and Storer with Mrs Laura Stewart continuing her fine form at scrum half.
The half time break saw Tash Robson taking time for a relaxing back rub on the pitch while Siobhan ‘still not Nichol’s mum’ Ashton-Cleary appeared to be having a religious moment, on her knees in contemplation. It soon transpired that Ashton-Cleary was not, in fact, awaiting communion but feeling the after effects of a virus, forcing her to give way in the second half to be replaced by Emily ‘Gash’ Howard.
Novos started the second half well, with the Welsh One and Nichol putting excellent pressure on the opposition and the ‘Monster Tackler of Billingham’ , Emily Howard living up to her billing. Meanwhile, our pitch side reporter had a word with new signing Josie ‘everyone prefers my puppy’ Pointon who disclosed that she is “too much of a princess” to play in the forwards and would rather “gouge her eyes” out. You heard it here first ladies and gents.
Attention soon turned back to the pitch as more excellent work from Nichol and Roberts led to the French assassin, Fanny Fouin, sprinting clear of the chasing Supermarine players to score another Novos try, starting off the second half as they had finished the first.
Following the try, our pitch side reporter was once again mixing with the players on the side line, this time with fallen hero, Sarah Marshall, taking time to recover after a bump on the noggin last week. But it seems as though her quick thinking has not been impaired, choosing to respond to questions with a standard “no comment” for fear of mockery and fake news in the local Sutherland Park press.
Supermarine seemed to rally themselves following this most recent try requiring excellent tackling from Ashley and a well organised Novos defensive line. Janey ‘twinkle toes’ Eccles entered the fray with Tash ‘bulldozer’ Robson making way, potentially for another massage.
Back pitch side, an injury to an opposition player led to out resident qualified medic, Betsy ‘I’ve lost my tootbrush’ Severs, reassuringly googling whether a shoulder needed to be ‘relocated’.
Supermarine continued their ascendancy and, despite a crunching double hit from Roberts and Storer making those on the side line pity the meat in that particular sandwich, scored what looked to be a consolation try.
A further change from Novos saw Charlie ‘Bee Sting’ Wild replace Mrs Stewart, taking a place on the wing while our latest French signing, Melissa moved to 9. A creative kick and chase by Flem Doggy Dog was soon followed by Charlie floating like a butterfly down the wing (if you don’t get this reference please take a moment to ponder) to dive over the line for another Novos try. The subsequent conversion attempt giving Nichol an opportunity to join in with the Oddballs ‘Cross Bar Challenge’ and succeed where so many others have failed. Pure talent that girl.
Betsy came on for the closing few minutes but was not given the opportunity to exploit her pace as Supermarine scored a second try, but it was to be far too little, too late for the team from the South (North). Novos winning comfortably 43-15.
A shout out has to go out to our valiant captain, Jess Richards, who not only performed outstandingly on the pitch, she also managed to step up and find a way to get everyone’s favourite word into the post-match speech. A good day all round, well, apart from the hangover…