VAGABONDS claimed their first win of the season in RFU Women’s Championship North Division Two after beating Sheffield on their own turf.
The Manx side were greeted on arrival by two inches of snow but the referee declared the pitch playable and a chilly battle ensued.
Vagabonds’s inspirational captain Fran Hunt scored within the first five minutes after she caught the ball from the kick-off and made a beeline for the try line.
For 60 minutes the game was played in the middle of the field. Both packs were scrummaging hard with Vagas winning the majority of the battles.
Cath Moore put in a solid performance as tight-head prop for the whole game as a last-minute injury to Rachel Purnell forced her to watch frustratingly from the sideline. Flankers Carys Smith and Chrissie Johnston were stealing ball, as were their opposite numbers, but both sides were keeping the play tight to the scrum so the ball rarely made it past the centres.
With 10 minutes remaining, Connections Recruitment-sponsored Vagabonds stepped up a gear. The Vagas pack had fought tirelessly for the whole match until the Sheffield pack had nothing left to give which allowed half-backs Hunt and Abi Corkish to get clean ball out to the back-line.
Some formidable tackling from Hunt and Jo McCabe saw no fewer than three Sheffield players being substituted for some fresh legs.
With Vagas dominating and Sheffield tiring, vice-captain Abi Corkish, Cat Beswick and Hunt all found space in the host’s back line to score a try apiece, two of which were converted by Beswick.
Vagabonds put in a superb team performance, however it was Vicky Leddy and Abi Corkish who claimed the players of the match honours. After a string of away matches, Vagabonds will host Morpeth on March 5 and will be hoping to use the home advantage to continue their winning ways.