Rugby Union: West Park Leeds Ladies 29 - 31 Littleborough Ladies

Date published: 22 January 2019

A try in the last play of the game from captain Courtney Mill for Littleborough's Pink Warriors snatched an unlikely 31-29 victory at West Park Leeds.

Five tries for Littleborough in which three were converted by Ellie Fitzgerald in the second half, overcame a 17-point deficit at the break and ensured Littleborough had their first away day victory this calendar year.

What was as impressive was the fact that they did this with as many as six players missing.

The sloping playing surface played a key part in the game as the Leeds based outfit used it to their advantage to score a hat-trick of tries.

With it all to do in the second half, Littleborough's Pink Warriors rallied immediately after coach Sarah Mansfield's half time team talk.

Collecting the kick off, inside centre Courtney Mills outpaced, out-muscled and out-jinxed five defenders to score under the posts. The simple conversion from Ellie Fitzgerald helped claw back two points from the deficit to make the score 17-7.

Like London buses, Littleborough scored two further tries in quick succession. First, second row Ella Fearnley cut a textbook running line at pace from forward of the day Grace Garner's teasing mispass, to run in from her own half.

The visitors found themselves camped in the West Park Leeds' 22 a few of minutes later and after a couple of close attempts had the home side scrambling to keep Littleborough out, diminutive scrum half Morgan Pearson darted over from close range. 

Littleborough then went one step further with another long range try; outside centre Kiera Boardman drew in the right winger to leave Mollie Yates with enough space in her half to speed past the covering defence and gallop in for a try behind the post. The scoreline was now 24-26.

West Park now found themselves behind for the first time in the match, and they desperately set about obtaining a try of their own. From a turnover 5 metres from the visitor’s line, West Park buried over. The failed conversion far out wide would come back to haunt them as they only had a three point lead: 29-26.

Courtney Mills, who having been a catalyst for a lot of what Littleborough did well in the match, took Fearnley's offload in her own half to devastating effect. The youngster again dashed, dazzled and dodged her way through numerous tackles again to dot down under the sticks and ensure a vital victory and confidence boost going into the back half of the season. 29-31.

Kiera Boardman was unfortunate not to have added the conversion and with it the extra two points, as her attempt ricocheted off the cross bar. But ultimately it would not matter at the end of a breathtaking and pulsating contest.

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