Girls rally to finish fifth on tournament debut

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Rutland Rockets finished fifth in their first ever regional U16s tournament, winning five of their ten matches.

The Rutland girls qualified as runners-up in the county competition but faced several tough teams in their opening games at the two-day East Midlands contest, which was held at Loughborough.

They faced two of the favourites on the first day, losing 43-4 to Nottingham Knights who finished second and eventual champions Charnwood Sapphires 29-7. It got little easier against Bare, who beat Rutland 26-10 and eventually came third.

Once the Rockets had the top trio out of the way, they rallied well, claiming a well-deserved 26-19 win against Allestree.

The girls grew in confidence on the second day and, despite missing three players, beat Brigg 21-20, Pennine 25-17, Corby 21-11 and Cliftonettes 26-19.

Their unbeaten day was ended by JM’s who beat Rockets 20-15 in a nail-biting final match.

Coach Samantha Griffin said: “The girls played hard until the end despite being exhausted, and proved they deserved to be a part of the competition despite being a small, newly-formed club.”