Rochdale Mayfield 20
North Wales Crusaders 76
report and photographs by Andrew Cudbertson
In the build up to this friendly, arranged as part of the Crusaders' Women's Team first ever campaign, both teams had been affected by unavoidable absences, and so agreed to play 11 a side with two/three substitutes. It was to the enormous credit of the two sides that a full 80 minutes was played, with the one half time break.
Cru were playing for the first time on grass, at the same ground as the Men's team played their Challenge Cup tie against Mayfield in 2020.
There were three debutants for North Wales, two of whom, Holly Aitchison and Fern Davies scored four tries each. The player of the match was another four-try scorer, full back Stevie Donougher, whose power and pace moving into the line proved too much for Mayfield. Stevie was captaining the side for the first time.
The Cru began at a blistering speed and were 42-0 ahead by the end of the first half hour. But two tries before half time and two more in the second half were just rewards for the home side's hard work, much to the pleasure of the large Rochdale crowd. A strong finish brought up the 76 points, testament to the fitness of the visitors. Becki Davies the Cru coach was full of praise for not just the try-scorers but every member of the side who put in so much effort over 80 minutes.
The return fixture will be on August 20th in North Wales, kick off 2pm, venue to be confirmed.
Full time Rochdale Mayfield 20 North Wales Crusaders 76 (half time 12-48)
North Wales Crusaders scorers
Tries: Stevie Donougher (4), Holly Aitchison (4) Fern Davies (4) Becky Jarvis-Evans (1) and Leanne Parry (1)
Goals: Sioned Phillips (10)
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