Above: Aislinn Smith tests the Lehigh Valley defense. (Photo by Shameena Khan)
Saturday, April 18, 2015: Village Lions 64, Lehigh Valley 0
The Leonas headed to Doylestown, Pa., to play their first away game of the season, but due to a regular-season mix-up, Doylestown had to host both VLRFC and Severn River. This meant the Leonas did not face Doylestown, but rather Lehigh Valley, who the former called in for help with the fixture.
The game was a nice runabout for the team, with the forwards doing damage with their strong lines (Lehigh need a little work in the defense department). The Leonas dominated possession and continuously made the gain line by taking the ball at pace with excellent support by the team in black and white, looking nothing short of dynamite.
The Village Lions took advantage of the short, wide pitch by moving the ball wide as quickly as possible so they could beat the opposition on the outside, and also relied on their extremely fast wingers to chase down and maintain possession of the ball kicked by Aislinn Smith at 10.
Although poor handling led to more scrums than the Leonas would have liked, the forwards never backed down, stealing all but two of the Lehigh’s put-ins, giving Megan O’Neill at 9 the ball served up gourmet-style on a plate. The score at the half was 37-0 to the Lions, courtesy of two tries by Jo Hayes and one each from Erin McGee, Tricia Stanley, halfback O’Neill, Meg Collins, and Margo Smith, who slotted one conversion (OK, someone forgot to bring a kicking tee).
Halftime came with the Leonas’ lone sub, Quin Works, coming in for Lindsay Thompson at loosehead. There was the slightest blip in concentration when — let’s say it was due to the heat — Lehigh made it into the Leonas’ 22 and threatened the try line briefly.
The pressure was relieved when Collins (“Me sir, sorry sir”) accidentally took out the ref, who awarded a scrum to the attacking side, which the Leonas again stole to allow Ais to kick to touch and relieve the pressure. Second-half tries came from Ais, who touched down three times in 10 minutes, with Stanley and Collins joining Hayes with a brace each.
After the Leonas’ 12th try, the ref decided to end the game 20 minutes early, stating that Lehigh were likely to be injured if they continued on. In the end, although the Leonas traveled with just 16 players, they emerged victorious with a 64-0 win. They face Morris away in their next fixture.
First XV: Lindsay Thompson, Catherine Sum, Emily Kunsman, Desiree Vodounon, Erin McGee, Mallory, Woods, Trish Stanley, Meg Collins, Megan O’Neil, Aislinn Smith, Katie Morris, Margo Smith, Victoria Dushku, Jo Hayes, Megan Banford
Subs: Quin Works (40 min. for Thompson)
Woman of the Match: Aislinn Smith
Silent Force: Catherine Sum