Nottingham Outlaws inaugural season in the Women’s National League One came to an end on Sunday when they fell to a 54-4 defeat at the hands of runaway leaders Thatto Heath. Despite the loss the Outlaws can look back on an excellent first season at national level when they made the play-offs at the first time of asking!
The Outlaws went into the game knowing that it would be a tough day at the office and in a whirlwind start the home team scored three trys from the first three sets to make it 12-0 with less than five minutes on the clock. Indeed the Outlaws hadn’t touched the ball at this point and it seemed like a huge defeat might be on the cards!
Despite the poor start the Outlaws slowly but surely began to get to grips with their opposite numbers with some strong tackling by Vicki Harvey, Violet Coppin and Grace Morrison in particular shoring up the defence with some strong tackling.
On the back of this improved defensive work the Outlaws began to pose a few questions of their own with Robyn Gulley and Vicki Harvey both coming close only to be held up in the tackle.
Another two quick fire try’s by the home team just before the break saw them edge out to 20-0 but with the Outlaws putting plenty of pressure on the league leaders for the last twenty minutes of the first stanza.
The half time break gave the coaches the chance to bring in two players on debut with Rosie Brodie and Casey Jennings pulling an Outlaws shirt on for the first time!
The second half started in much the same way as the first did with the home side blitzing the Outlaws with another two try’s but to the credit the Outlaws hit back and once again it came on the back of some outstanding tackling by Captain Coppin who led by example and rallied her troops with a series of last ditch tackles that saved a number of certain trys.
Having weathered the Thatto storm the Outlaws again hit back and they finally got the try they deserved when the industrious Robyn Gulley went on an eighty metre footrace, beating two defenders out wide before sprinting down the touch line to score one of the try’s of the game to reduce the deficit to 40-4!
As the match wore on the Outlaws kept on battling but they couldn’t add to their tally and late scores by the home team saw them close out the game at 54-4 and with it book themselves in the final next weekend.
After the game a tired but happy bunch of Outlaws could proudly look back in what has been a superb season in the lofty heights of National League One. All of the players had performed magnificently on the day but there were no complaints when Captain Violet Coppin deservedly took the Player of the Match award on the back of an outstanding defensive display!