Stratford Ladies field two teams once again

Back: Molly Pepperell, Richard Pepperell (Pumas coach), Caz Farris (Jaguars captain), Sharon Quantrill, Julie Allison, Alice Mercer, Sue Perason, Jane McGovern (Pumas captain), Michelle Johnson, Jess Fox, Rebecca Charles, Laura Middlemast, David Hitchins (Jaguars coach). Front: Lily Pepperell, Rachel Birch, Hollie Fletcher, Rhiannon Ridgway, Kat Lucas, Becki Coombe, Jessie Darling, Quinn Fox, Taron Fox and Rachel McGovern.


FOR the third time in the 2019 season, Stratford Ladies Touch Rugby Club fielded two teams when they competed in the final North East Midlands League tournament of the season hosted by local rivals Wellesbourne.

Stratford Pumas, coached by Richard Pepperell and captained by Jane McGovern, fielded seven players, two of whom were carrying injuries into the event.

The first game was a crunch match against Camp Hill for overall third place in the league.

Tries from Rebecca Charles and Kat Lucas gave Stratford the 2-0 win.

In the second game, the Pumas ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over an inexperienced Atherstone side.

The results ensured the Pumas topped the group and would face Wellesbourne and Redditch in the first tier play-off.

Despite a well-worked try from Jessie Darling, the Pumas lost 3-1 to eventual league winners Wellesbourne.

In the final game, Pumas managed to muster up enough energy to draw 1-1 with Redditch.

Rhiannon Ridgway scored the try as Stratford finished the tournament in third.

The eight-strong Stratford Jaguars, coached by David Hitchins and captained by Caz Farris, faced Rugby St Andrews first.

The match finished as a 0-0 draw, with the Jaguars displaying an amazing team defence.

Had it not been for a for a marginal touch over the line and a marginal forward pass, new players Sue Pearson and Michelle Johnson would have opened their accounts.

Hollie Fletcher provided some creative ideas in attack that showed great vision for the team.

League leaders Wellesbourne were up next for the Jaguars.

The solid defence continued, as complimented by the opposition and the referee alike.

A number of Wellesbourne’s chances were halted, but they were able to cross the whitewash three times.

As RSA lost to Wellesbourne by less tries, the Jaguars found themselves in the third tier play-off.

The Jaguars had Woodrush next, who had some fast, young threats on the wing.

Stratford continued to play their game and were rewarded with a try for Fletcher on the wing from a well-timed pass from Farris.

They kept a clean sheet for this and the next match against Atherstone.

With their confidence boosted, they finished the day 3-0 victors, with one more try for Fletcher and a brace for Becki Coombe.

This ensured they topped the third tier and finished in seventh place.

Player of the tournament for the Jaguars was Pearson for her work rate and supportive play in attack while Charles scooped up the award for the Pumas after scoring two well-worked tries and showing good leadership.

Coaches Pepperell and Hitchins said: “It was a genuine pleasure to be part of such a great group.

“All the players, especially the newer ones, were incredible and they should all be immensely proud of their achievements this season.

“They were a credit to themselves, their friends and family and Stratford RFC as a whole.

“This section will continue to go from strength to strength with these ladies leading it.”

The last outing for Stratford will be the Super Sunday event at Ledbury on Sunday.