Two wins in the Sapphire series last Saturday saw the Wembley Stallions women go 3-1, putting them behind the Dreadnoughts on point difference.
Wins against Portsmouth Dreadnoughts 23-22, and Oxford Saints 60-25, pushed the Stallions to 3-1 in the women’s Sapphire series after a fine display on offence and defence.
The Stallions started the day against the team heading into the day in the top position, the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts who were sat on 2-0.
The game asked the question to which team had the better defence. The Stallions looked to answer that question early with a pair of safeties, with Delta Npuna and Tikka Taylor key to denying the Dreadnoughts moving the ball downfield.
The offence also started strongly, with Lina Malden catching the first TD of the game. However, the Dreadnoughts kept in the game, responding with a pick 6. Chloe Flowers got the second TD of the game, making the game 16-12 at the half.
As the second half started it was clear that the Dreadnoughts had upped the temp, starting strong. The Stallions extended their lead through rookie Tamara Croucher, with Grace Hilbourne converting on the PAT, in what would be a pivotal play.
The Stallions defence fought with aggression to hold on for the win which moved them to 2-1, and handing the Dreadnoughts the first loss of the series.
Next up for the Stallions was Oxford Saints who after beating Peterborough Royals earlier on, were also sat on a 2-1 record.
The Saints tried to run the ball early in the game but to no avail, with Demi Adesanya making key stops to deny the run game.
Grace Hilbourne got the first TD of the game, and her second of the day. The conversion attempt was intercepted by the Saints however who looked to take the ball to the Stallions end zone. What occurred after was something you usually only see in the movies.
The Stallions reacted quickly to the interception, forcing the Saints to fumble the ball, the Stallions recovered the ball and looked to take the ball back to the intentional destination of the Saints end zone. The ball was however fumbled once more, the Saints recovered the ball, and took eventually got the ball over the line.
This sparked the Stallions into life. An injured Angie Sowerby, who cracked her ankle in the game against the Dreadnoughts took the ball 35 yards to the house, outpacing everyone to put the Stallions back into the driving seat.
Another touchdown by Chloe Flowers followed shortly afterwards, while the Stallions defence allowed little, with Anna Young making a crucial tackle to deny the Saints moving the ball.
Ny Clarke-Williamson made what could be called the play of the day, diving low to make an ankle height catch to earn the Stallions another TD.