After a 2 week break, the Bluebirds were back on the road taking the relatively short trip to Welwyn. Conditions were not conducive to running rugby and it was always going to be a tough attritional game, as was proved in the half time score!
Despite missing a couple of key players, the Bluebirds made a strong start, spending lengthy spells in the Welwyn 22, but unfortunately were not able to convert the possession into points. With Welwyn not offering a great deal in attack in the opening exchanges, they defended resolutely with play stop/starting due to knock on's and other numerous infringements in tricky conditions. At half time it was honours even with the score at 0-0.
The second half start off in much the same vein, with the Bluebirds again pushing for the opening score, however that was taken by the home side who went over for the first try and converted for a 7-0 lead. A second try by the home side, against the run of play and a reduced Bluebirds side down to 14 for continuous infringements, this time unconverted giving Welwyn a 12-0 lead. Undeterred the Bluebirds hit back with a well work try through the backs after some excellent forwards effort, the ball making it out wide to a looping Marcus Jackowska to touch down to bring the Bluebirds back to 12-5. Shortly after another well worked passage of play saw scrum half Ellie Lawther go over for the second try for the away side, again unconverted to bring Chelmsford back within touching distance at 12-10.
Continued pressure from the Bluebirds saw Welwyn penalised in front of the posts, allowing Jess Matthews to take the points to give the away side the lead for the first time in the game at 13-12 to Chelmsford. Deep into the game and with the Bluebirds again in the Welwyn 22, a couple of missed infringements by the home side saw them break away and after a period of sustain pressure and stout defending on their own try line, in the final throws with both sides down to 14 following a couple of quick yellows, the home side managed to squeeze over withe the last play of the match for an unconverted try and 5 points to give them a 17-13 win and their first victory of the season. Despite picking up a losing bonus point, the Bluebirds will feel this was an opportunity missed, but as always will regroup and work hard in training ahead of their next fixture, a huge home game against top of the table Sudbury this Sunday 10th December.
Tries: Marcys Jackowska, Ellie Lawther
Pens: Jess Matthews
Photo Credit: Lillie Barnett