Marr win nail-biting Women’s National Bowl final 2024

Marr win nail-biting Women’s National Bowl final 2024

A thrilling encounter between Marr and Dalkeith saw the Women’s National Bowl final taken 36-29 by Marr on the Murrayfield back pitches on Saturday.

The player of the match was Dalkeith’s Rachael McIntosh for her four tries, despite being on the losing side on the day.

Marr kicked off into a stiff crosswind and after a short settling period, a knock on halted the game 40m out from the Dalkeith line.

A strong but fair hit knocked the ball clean out of Emma Gilgallon’s hands to offer Dalkeith a chance to build from a scrum just inside their half.

A break from Kayleigh Howat led to quick ball spun wide where Marr’s Georgia Brown was unstoppable and cantered in for a score five minutes into the game, but captain Siobhan Reid couldn’t add the extras.

After the restart, Ellie Arnott made a darting run wide before handing off to Sophie Steel, making it all the way to the 5m line before a stellar tackle from a desperate Dalkeith player. However, quick ball from the ruck saw Natalie Rorison go under the posts to double Marr’s lead. Reid added the extras this time to see the yellow and purple 12-0 up after nine minutes.

A series of penalties stacked up against Marr in the subsequent minutes as Dalkeith made their way back into the match, but Dalkeith failed to make them pay for the longest time. Finally, under a knock-on advantage, Dalkeith’s Rachael McIntosh’s solo effort into the Marr 22 was too silky for the defenders and she went under the posts. Leigh Bell added two more to make the score 12-7 with 15 minutes to go in the first half.

Just before the half, Dalkeith snuck down the left wing before cutting back inside into Marr’s 22. A halfback snipe from Amy MacNamara brought the red and green to within 5m, and Rachael McIntosh crossed over near the corner for her second of the game. With the wind picking up, a teammate kept the ball upright for Leigh Bell’s conversion attempt, but she could not add the extras.

Half time: Marr 12-12 Dalkeith

A testy start to the second half saw penalties go both ways, before the Dalkeith pack stormed a Marr scrum to turn over the ball near Marr’s 40m line. From the back of the scrum, Amy MacNamara picked up the ball, beat two Marr players and scored in the corner. Leigh Bell’s conversion was unsuccessful. 12-17 to Dalkeith.

But Marr struck back instantly with a great passage of passing play allowing them into the Dalkeith 22. From there, the ball was spun wide to winger Georgia Brown to sneak over in the corner for her second of the day. Siobhan Reid couldn’t add the extras. 17-17.

Halfway into the second half, Brown broke free in her own 22 and ran the length of the field down the touchline before bringing the ball under the posts to complete her hat-trick, leaving Siobhan Reid to pop the ball over and give Marr a seven-point lead. Marr 24-17 Dalkeith.

A quickly taken tap in Marr’s 22, combined with some quick hands from Dalkeith saw Rachael McIntosh complete her own hat-trick in the corner and heap the pressure back on Marr, but Leigh Bell couldn’t add the conversion. Marr 24-Dalkieth 22.

The final 10 minutes were frantic and saw Dalkeith storm back to complete the comeback as the ball was spun wide from a scrum and – she strikes again – Rachael McIntosh crossed over after beating three Marr players for her fourth try of the day. Leigh Bell added the extras to take the score to Marr 24-29 Dalkeith.

But it wasn’t all over. From inside their own 22, Marr used quick hands to get the ball to winger Sophie Steel, who tucked the ball under her arm and beat two defenders on her way to run 80m to score underneath the posts. Siobhan Reid then had the biggest kick of the afternoon and popped it over to see the score Marr 31-Dalkeith 29 with just minutes remaining.

After a number of phases from Marr, battering a tiring Dalkeith defence, a gap opened for Sophie Steel to sneak over in the corner, sealing both her second try of the day and the win for Marr.

Full time: Marr 36 Dalkeith 29

Dalkeith RFC
Leigh Bell – 2 Conversions, Eleanor Hewitt, Rachael McIntosh – 4 Tries, Stacey Donaldson, Abbie Campbell, Lynsay Halliday, Amy MacNamara – 1 Try, Ali Nangle, Shirley Welsh, Yvonne McCathie (Captain), Eilidh Duff, Julie Lyons, Aby Wallace, Melissa Cameron, Ciara Ni Choinneain.

Replacements: Heather Crabbe, Kira Turner, Debbie Dunbar, Rebecca Pennycook, Pamela McIntosh, Ashleigh Reid, Claire Hope.

Marr RFC
Laura Blyth, Georgia Brown – 3 Tries, Hope Renucci, Ellie Arnott, Sophie Steel – 2 Tries, Siobhan Reid (Captain) – 3 Conversions, Jennifer Morrison, Gill Duncan, Gillian Bell, Emma Gilgallon, Iona Smith, Paula Marshall, Kayleigh Howat, Jill Tuton, Natalie Rorison – 1Try.

Replacements: Rachel Blyth, Reetta Luumi, Caitlin McFadden, Alana McCulloch, Rachel Cameron, Nicky Marden, Megan Pratt.

Player of the match: Dalkeith’s Rachael McIntosh.

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