All in all, the final game of the Championship Two South West season, played on the exposed old St Peter Port School pitch, was not rewarding for our Ladies.
Initially, the game went well.
In the first five minutes a fantastic Carly Duchemin try scored under the posts having received the ball on the left wing and sprinted down the flank past two hapless defenders to score.
The conversion from Jemma Crouse went in off the post and we were 7-0 up.
‘We wanted to play an expansive game of rugby from the start but the freezing and muddy conditions really did not help us at all and I think it is fair to say the conditions played into the hands of a big, forwards orientated Drybrook side,’ said coach Chris Griffiths.
The away team dominated the breakdown area and worked hard yards well all game trying to keep things tight.
Drybrook were playing their regular No. 8 at fly half and it pretty much didn’t go out side that channel when they attacked.
Instead they ran at Guernsey’s 10-12 channel from first phase all game, but it was effective as they were getting on the front foot each time.
Guernsey still led 7-5 at the break and on the resumption the lead then changed hands twice more in the second half with Drybrook scoring to go 10-7 up until a great catch and drive from a Guernsey line out in the top left hand side of the pitch led to Jemma Crouse dotting down from a maul that was moving forward towards the line.
Although the conversion was missed we led 12-10.
Drybrook continued to use their big ball carriers in attack and were counter rucking hard at every breakdown making Guernsey’s possession sporadic at best as the handling error count crept up way beyond what would be normal.
But it was so bitterly cold one could hardly blame the players for not being able to feel their hands.
Drybrook scored another try having worked up the field and winning a penalty which they ran quickly to charge over at pace to regain the lead.
Guernsey tried everything to unlock their defence to get the winning try and for a second it looked like the combination of Carly and Tanya on the right hand side was going to get them the try they needed, but once again the ball was spilled in the tackle and heartbreakingly after more than a dozen phases of hard yards around the fringes of the ruck, Drybrook scored the winner just before the final whistle.
‘Obviously we were bitterly disappointed not to get the win, but the conditions were the complete opposite of what we would have wished for to play the kind of open, running game that I am absolutely certain would have seen us win some way clear of Drybrook, but that’s just the way it goes I guess and it sometimes just feels that any luck or rub of the green really has deserted us this season,’ added Griffiths.
‘If we’d have been on the Garenne Stand pitch, sprinting around in spring sunshine I know the result would have gone our way.
‘But I was immensely proud of the ladies, who as ever, played their hearts out in appalling conditions and stuck to their tasks as best they could, they should be very proud of their efforts, not just against Drybrook but all season.
‘They have never given less than 100% for the cause, they have put their bodies on the line and we have all learned so much from playing at this much higher level.’
Guernsey now look forward to a friendly at home to Barnes this coming Saturday at 1:30pm on the Club Pitch.