Ladies collect vital win
By Sarah Edwards
Teddington ladies collected a vital four points at Newbury toppling the team who were top of the table going into the weekend, winning 19-14.
After a poor string of results early in the season, Teddington have been playing catch up in the second half of the season but two wins from three games and the return to form and availability of key players, has boosted their league position, and the team is now looking up the table instead of nervously down.
This game started at a quick pace with Newbury showing their threats out wide with their back three looking particularly dangerous.
Teddington's pack though started to dominate up front, with some excellent set piece work generating lots of quick ball with Becci de Garston-Webb enjoying a positive debut in attack and defence, while Chloe Halladay, Nat Haidari and Penny Carr were all carrying well.
The front row trio of Heather Smith, Haidari and Larua Templeman set an excellent platform about 20 minutes in for space to open up for scrum-half Aimee Miller, whose typically brilliant finishing helped Teddington to an opening 5-0 lead.
Newbury were being put under pressure defensively with Zoe Feenan and Laura Parry particularly hassling on a strong push defence, but their dangerous winger raced away gathering a pass from a loose kick and streaked down the touchline to score.
Teddington hit back with some excellent pick and go phases up front for Miller to dive over and score before half time with Jo Mair converting for a 12-7 lead. It needed a brilliant Sabrina Rambohul tackle to prevent Newbury from a breakaway score, and though this was a game where Teddington's wide players didn't have a huge amount of time and space ,the defence and tackling in these channels would prove vital.
It was tense stuff after the break as both sides cancelled each other out with some excellent tackling and smothering work at the breakdown. De Garston-Webb continued to prove a thorn in the home side at the breakdown, winning numerous turnovers and with Haidari making life very difficult around the fringes with her powerful running, Teddington were on the front foot.
Nonetheless a string of chances went begging with Newbury defending their try line for almost 20 minutes but finally the key score came when another well organised surge was finished off by Miller, who showed her finishing skills again in the tight spaces with a third. Mair's conversion made it 19-7.
Newbury scored almost immediately, and again it was their quick winger who capitalised on some tired tackling to dot down under the posts from 50 metres.
The conversion made it 19-14 with five minutes to go but Teddington would not be denied and Feenan booted the ball out to huge relief.