REDDITCH QUEENFISHERS began the North East Midlands Ladies Touch League as they mean to go on with a tournament victory.
After narrowly missing out on overall first place last season, the Queenfishers are determined not to let top position slip this season after their winning start.
The first competitive fixture of the year, hosted by Rugby St Andrews, proved the Redditch ladies had lost little of last season’s winning ways.
In the pool stages, Redditch enjoyed 5-0 and 3-0 victories over Berskwell & Balsall and Rugby St Andrews respectively.
The third game against Wellesbourne ended in a draw but that was enough to put the Queenfishers top of their group.
The standard of play moved up a level as four teams now battled it out for the leading positions.
The semi-final against Stratford was evenly matched and finished 0-0. However, a winner needed to be decided.
Therefore, the game went into a drop-off scenario whereby each team drops one player off the pitch every minute until one team scores and the opposition do not score within the next six phases of play.
Queenfishers captain Olivia Jones scored the vital try to put Redditch into the final against Camp Hill.
After a pre-season training match showed Camp Hill had improved their skill and game in the closed season, the Queenfishers knew this would be a test of stamina and determination to the final whistle.
The Redditch ladies were on the front foot, leading 2-1, when a Camp Hill player appeared to cross the try-line, only for it to be contested by Redditch supporters and players who said the opponent was outside the pitch boundaries.
The referee deemed otherwise though and awarded the try.
This could have deflated Redditch, but they did not drop their heads and went on to score two more tries of their own to win the match and overall tournament.
Redditch’s 17-year-old Chloe Payne was named Lady of the Tournament for her contribution of three tries and excellent attacking and defensive play.
Other tries came from Jones, Kate Saint and Amy Flynn as the Queenfishers scored 14 and only conceded three.
The Queenfishers will aim to continue their winning ways at the next tournament on May 7 at Camp Hill.
Report compiled by Amy Flynn.