Tennent’s Women’s Premiership | Semi-Finals Match Reports
Here we recap the outcomes of the two Semi-Final matches which took place earlier this month.
Corstorphine Cougars v Watsonian FC
On Saturday 14 January, Corstrophine Cougars hosted Watsonian FC at Union Park in the first of the Tennent’s Women’s Premiership play-offs.
Cougars finished second in the regular season, followed by last year’s champions, Watsonians in third.
With wind and rain dampening the conditions, it was a tricky for both sides to find their footing in attack and this led to the opening 40 minutes concluding 0-0.
However, things opened up 15 minutes into second half when Cougars were awarded a penalty-try just meters from their try-line when Watsonians’ scrum collapsed. Watsonians received a yellow card and were subsequently down to 14 players for the next 10 minutes.
Cougars added two more tries to the scoreboard through hooker Lucy Park, who on both occasions rumbled over the line from short-range (17-0).
Following the win Head Coach, Eric Jones said: “The pack has been playing well all season, but January and February time is when the pitches are a bit trickier, so when they really needed to put in a shift I thought our forwards were excellent in this game.
“They played the conditions well, managed things well and they had to so that we could beat a battling Watsonians side who really took it to us.
“You could see at the end just how much this win means for the players, the coaches and the whole club.”
Stirling County v Heriot’s Blues
League leaders Stirling County booked their place in the final with a four-try performance to Heriot’s Blues one.
Originally the match had been scheduled to take place at Bridgehaugh, but due to freezing conditions the game was moved to Peffermill Playing Fields.
Much like the semi-final from the previous weekend, it was hard to separate the two sides in the opening half. It took until the final minutes of the game for a try, which was scored by hooker Aicha Sutcliffe and converted by Rachel Shankland.
In the second-half two tries were scored by Number 8, Rachel Cox, both of which were converted by stand-off Ceitidh Ainsworth.
Despite a yellow card, the Blues were able to get points on the board in the final 10 minutes of the game when Morven Thomson dotted down in the corner.
However, County were able to add their fourth try minutes before the game closed out when Keira McDonald scored under the sticks to make an easy conversion for Ainsworth.
Reflecting on the performance, Stirling County Head Coach, Mark Ainsworth said: “It is a great result for us, credit to Heriot’s as they gave us a real tough test and have improved dramatically. We made life difficult for ourselves in the first half hour, it might have been a bit of rustiness or the different surface, but really our lack of dominance was down to Heriot’s because they played really well in that period.
“They were defending well and their attack put us under pressure, but we weathered that storm then started to impose our game and gaps began appearing which we were able to exploit as we began to use our backs a bit better.
“Credit to the players for finding a way to get on top in the game because it was a physical battle, but we know that we can play better and we’ll have to against Corstorphine.
“The players can enjoy this win, but it is all about the final next week now and we have to refocus quickly.”