On what turned out to be a perfect day for rugby, Burlington Ladies hosted local rivals Hamilton at Sherwood Forest Park, playing their first league game on home turf since 2018. Burlington played into a stiff breeze in the first half, choosing to keep the ball in hand and trying to gradually wear down their opponents. Hamilton had a gritty defence however and proved a tough nut to crack for the first 20 minutes as the Centaurs put together phase after phase of heads up rugby, only to be denied by some uncharacteristic unforced errors at crucial times. Finally however the pressure would take it’s toll on the Hornets and after some build up play from the forward pack, centre/flanker Ann Andre would cross for the first score in the right corner. No.8 Ahink Hussein was having a stormer against her former club, consistently turning over ball and making tackle after tackle in what turned out to be a Man of the Match performance. She would pop up for the second try of the half powering through some desperate tackles for the home side’s second try. The Ladies would continue their ball in hand approach as they gained in confidence resulting in fly-half Kiki McShortly scoring from the quick tap penalty under the posts. Cassidy Smith would slot the conversion to bring on the half time whistle and a scoreline of 17-0 in favour of Burlington.
Burlington turned up the heat in the second half producing a performance as good as any this season, eliminating errors and moving the ball from sideline to sideline resulting in a brace of tries for wing Claire Hawkins who finished off in style in quick succession in the right hand corner. The Hamilton side had a few opportunities in the Burlington 22 but were frustrated by the Burlington defence and in particular No. 8 Ahink Hussain who stifled their only try-scoring opportunity with a last gasp tackle in front of the posts. A wonderful break in the center of the field would see the Burlington fly-half McShortly sprint the length of the field for a delightful solo effort which would be converted by scrum half Cassidy Smith. Burlington’s dominance was now absolute and they put the seal on the victory with a pushover try just before the final whistle, No.8 Ahink Hussein touching down for her second try of the afternoon.
FINAL SCORE: Burlington Ladies 41 – Hamilton Ladies 0