Mixed fortunes for Chelmsford rugby sides

The Chelmsford Bluebirds started their season with a win over Southwold. Picture: ANNIE COULSON

The Chelmsford Bluebirds started their season with a win over Southwold. Picture: ANNIE COULSON - Credit: Archant

It was a mixed weekend for Chelmsford rugby sides, with the women’s squad claiming a good win, but the men suffering a heavy defeat.

The ladies’ side, called the Bluebirds, saw off Southwold Swallows 43-15, despite going into the game less than optimistic given they struggled to field a full team.

Swallows scored their first try in under three minutes and the Bluebirds looked to be well outranked by a team who had come down from the league above last season.

All three of the Southwold tries (all unconverted) were scored in the first 15 minutes and then, as if from nowhere, the Bluebirds seemed to rally.

They ran in seven tries, with four scored at the tail end of the first half as inside centre Clare Bond scored once and Fullback Amy Ironmonger notched a hat-trick. Winger Nicola Lopez converted twice.

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The outstanding comeback from the Bluebirds in the first half put them just ahead of Southwold 24-15 at the break, but the home team were reminded by captain Mini Nowlan not to become complacent.

The Bluebirds went into the second half and gave no quarter to the Swallows, who did not score at all. A momentary lapse in defence saw a breakaway from the Southwold inside centre but she was brought to ground inside Chelmsford’s half and the Bluebirds regained control of the game and possession of the ball.

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Clare Bond scored her second try, bringing the Bluebirds tries to five and giving them a bonus point in the league table. Lopez put more points on the board, scoring her own try, but was unfortunately injured and was unable to convert.

Laura Farnsworth, a renowned defensive player, then scored her first try of the season for Chelmsford after a series of scrums at the Southwold five-metre line. The try was converted by Karly Harrington, the team’s vice-captain.

Chelmsford’s men had a much worse time of things, falling to a huge 97-12 defeat at Rochford in London North East 2. Marcus Pottinger and Warren Woodward notched their only tries in a lopsided beating.

Chelmsford must regroup for their first home game on Saturday against Cantabrigians.

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