There's never a greater sight that seeing both teams step onto the pitch at the same time, and yesterday provided just that as UYWRUFC took over the 22 Acres for an afternoon of great rugby. The 1st XV took on Sheffield Hallam as arguably the top contenders for top spot in the league, as the 2nd XV battled Northumbria 2's only a few paces away on the pitch across.
It was a worrying start for the first team as Sheffield Hallam scored almost within moments of kick off, threatening the UYWRUFC 1sts winning record and making clear this would not be an easy ride for the squad. A quick chat under the posts, however, and York were back in form: a quick try from Liv at fullback brought the home team within two points, and another try again from Liv within a few minutes with a conversion from Emma took York into the lead with 12-5. Clearly, the mojo was back.
The late arrival of club mascot Leonidas the Lion brought good luck to the firsts as Alice Ingram ran in another try from the wing, bringing it to 17-7. Just over half an hour into the game and Liv earned her hattrick; not to be satisfied with three, in another five minutes she had her fourth try of the match right under the posts. With the score at 29-7, UYWRUFC were proving that an early try from the opposition would not be a stumbling block to their game. Hallam regaining some motion scored just before half time, however: with the whistle blown, time for a break and a team talk.
The second half started better, with York staking their claim early - Liv running nearly the full length of the pitch scored her fifth try of the match and proving an unstoppable force fatal to Hallam's defence. They were quick to prove resilient though, getting themselves another try only a few minutes after the home team's. Though still trailing in points, it was clear they were not about to give up soon. The absence of tries for either team for another half an hour would prove this; but with little of the game left and a great number of hand offs, Liv stormed her way to her sixth try of the game. As if bringing spirit back into the game, this was shortly followed by another York try from Rebekah on the wing. With a last attempt against the home team, Hallam scored in the dying moments of the game: but the final whistle saw a storming win for UYWRUFC at 48-24.
A couple of minutes behind the firsts thanks to a late ref, the seconds kicked off their second game of the season - which, for many, was also their second game of rugby ever. With a knock-on from York straight from the kick off, we saw the first scrum of a very scrum heavy game. Though Northumbria were strong, York were stronger, locking them out and refusing to budge on the field. With a lot of turnovers and spilt balls, the first 15 minutes saw UYWRUFC 2nds take the lead with a try from Daisy storming across the line. Vice-Captain Suzanne followed only ten minutes later with another try, taking York into a 10-0 lead. The play was looking good: the forwards were strong and the backs were playing well, with everyone making great breaks and dominating ruck after ruck.
But it wasn't long before Northumbria were able to break the line - a seeming unwillingness to ruck saw quick offloads from the team in red and a push for the line and a try. A conversion later took the score to 10-7; though York were still in the lead, tensions were high. Not to be defeated, Ella at 8 smashed through the opposition, flooring them in her bid for the try line and taking York into a slightly more comfortable 15-7. But this was not to last long: another try and conversion to Northumbria took the score to 15-14 as the game came to half time.
Much like the firsts, the second half started better for the seconds: Molly battled her way through to score, taking York to 20-14, putting distance between the two teams again. Yet Northumbria were not to be deterred: a quick restart and a battle through a York defence in what felt like an unending set of phases saw an opposition try and a return to the close scoreline, now 20-19. The restart saw York quickly back on the edge of the Northumbrian try line, looking to pull back a greater lead. A stolen ball saw the Northumbrian fullback storming down the wing, however. Yet just as it looked like she had gotten away with it, Ellen at centre appeared as if from nowhere with a diving tackle and sweeping the Northumbrian straight off her feet; unanimously decided amongst spectators on the sidelines as the greatest thing ever seen by anybody. Sadly this was not enough to completely stop the team in red: with ten minutes left of the game, Northumbria were to score and take the lead 20-24.
York were not to give up yet, however: having held the lead all game, they were unwilling to give it up so close to the end. With only two minutes left to go, a cheeky pick and go from Suzanne at 9 saw her storm through the opposition and take her second try of the game and finish the match at 25-24 to York. Though the last twenty minutes of the game proved a nail-biting watch, a successful fight from the UYWRUFC 2nds saw their first win of the season and made for a truly terrific double header from the Black and Yellow squads.
Amazing play from everyone in UYWRUFC yesterday - here's to many more double wins and big smiles all round!
For more during the game, follow us on Twitter at @UYWRUFC for live updates and truly terrible banter!