Stratford Ladies take third place at Super Sunday tournament

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TOUCH RUGBY

STRATFORD came away from the final Super Sunday tournament of the year with their highest-ever placing.

The Ladies sent just the one squad to the event at Ledbury, but were without captain Jane McGovern due to injury, so she assisted coach Richard Pepperell from the sidelines while Rebecca Charles took over as skipper.

In a refreshing change, Stratford found themselves against two South West Midlands teams in their pool.

Their first game was against SW Midlands Touch League champions Bredon.

In a hard-fought match in which the lead changed several times, Stratford eventually won 3-2 thanks to tries from player of the tournament Rachel Birch (2) and Jessie Darling.

A combination team of Ross-on-Wye and Berry Hill were up next and Stratford really stepped up their performance.

The outstanding team defence on show all day meant they kept the opposition to no points.

Birch added to her total on the wing and Rhi Ridgway crossed the line in a mirror image a few minutes later.

In the second half, captain Charles finished off an amazing team move to give Stratford a 3-0 win.

This result guaranteed a minimum third place finish, the highest Stratford have ever finished in a Super Sunday tournament this season.

In their final play-off matches against Ledbury and Pershore, who finished second and third respectively in the SW Midlands Touch League, the ladies narrowly lost both.

The presentations for the 2019 season followed and it was confirmed that Stratford finished third place in the North East Midlands Ladies Touch League and sixth in the cumulative Super Sunday competition.

It was the last tournament in charge for Pepperell, who has taken on the larger role of director of rugby for Stratford RFC.

He said: “It was another great effort on Sunday. They are all great at what they do, and I have genuinely loved coaching them.

“Sunday demonstrated the high levels of skill they have been developing all year.

“They are genuinely a special bunch and long may it continue.”