Spitfires earn draw v Sussex Melins
Spitfires leave it late to earn a draw
Spectators at Station Road witnessed an epic game between two well drilled sides as the Sussex Merlin's drew 28-28 with the Southampton Spitfires in the First festival of the summer.
The Merlin's started the brighter of the two sides as they raced out to a 12-0 lead in the opening five minutes. First of all a dropped ball allowed the Merlin's to spin the ball wide and score. Then the Merlin's intercepted a pass from 20 meters out to score. Both try's were converted giving the visitors the perfect start.
The Spitfires then hit back and forced a Merlin's error close to the try line. From the next set of six the Spitfires scored from close range with Emma Swinton diving over from hooker . The extras were added by Sarah Jenkins making the score 12-6 to the Merlin's.
Then the Merlin's struck again with the Spitfires once again turning over possession cheaply. This made the score 16-6 with a few minutes left to play in the half.
Spitfires then capitalized on some tired legs to attack from the play the ball with Emma Swinton once again spotting a gap and running her self from dummy half to score under the posts. The conversion by Jenkins made it 16-12 to the visitors at the break.
HALF TIME SOUTHAMPTON SPITFIRES 12 - 16 SUSSEX MERLINS
The second half started badly for the hosts as they conceded their fourth try of the afternoon right from the start putting the Sussex team in a commanding lead at 22-12.
The Spitfires need to score next with the game slipping away and Ashleigh Greenslade stepped up to do just that with her first touch breaking the line and then winning the foot race to the try line. With the conversion striking the post and missing the score was now 22-16.
With 8 minutes to go the Sussex squad scored their fifth and final try on the day with a clever chip over which found the winger who scored under the posts. With the conversion hitting the post and still going over the visitors had now extended their lead to 12 points with the scores now 28-16. With just 7 minutes left the home side were facing their first defeat of the season.
The Spitfires then had a stroke of luck as the ball was knocked on in a tackle by the Merlin's giving them another set of six. With the Merlin's tiring the ball went wide and a 5th tackle kick touch a deflection of a Merlin's player and Ashleigh Greenslade picked up the lose ball to score. The conversion was added making it 28-22.
Then from the restarting set the Merlin's got caught in possession on the 5th tackle resulting in a handover and from the next set of six the Spitfires scored again with Emma Swinton breakigng through out wide and scoring under the posts giving Jenkins the chance to convert making it 28-28.
From the restart the Merlin's once again made a mistake and knocked on and the Spitfires packed the scrum down with just 15 seconds to play. From the scrum they played the ball wide but excellent Merlin's defence saw them through to the final whistle and a well earned draw.
FULL TIME SOUTHAMPTON SPITFIRES 28-28 SUSSEX
THE WOMENS SECTION WILL BE IN ACTION AGAIN NEXT MONTH AS THEY LOOK TO TAKE MAXIMUM POINTS AT THE NEXT FESTIVAL IN BRIGHTON.