BT Women’s Plate final: students triumph in west derby

Although Greenock lost, they can regard the game as something to build on

The first try of the game for Glasgow University against Greenock Wanderers.
The first try of the game for Glasgow University against Greenock Wanderers. Image: Calum Mackenzie.

Glasgow University 34
Greenock Wanderers 17

GLASGOW University made it three wins out of three this season against Greenock Wanderers, but they had to battle hard before eventually getting on top.

It took the university until midway through the first half before eventually breaking Wanderers down and opening the scoring through a Melanie Grant try, and although they led 24-5 at half-time, they were never entirely sure of lifting the trophy until close to the end of the match.

“It was a really good, competitive game, like the two in the league had been,” Glasgow coach Murray Houston said. “I think what told for us in the end was probably our conditioning, our fitness, which just makes everything a lot easier when you get to the end of the game.

“We’re really pleased with how that paid off towards the end, because Greenock are a very physical team. Whenever they had the ball they kept it for a long time, so we had to defend for long periods of the game.

“We just needed to make sure we had a hold of the ball. Once we got a hold of it, we stuck to our game plan and when we started to move it a little bit wider, away from the contact, that’s when we were a real threat.”

The victory rounds off a season which has also seen Glasgow reach second place in National 1, but it will have significance well beyond the current campaign, Houston explained.

“It’s a really important win for us, because recruitment is key for the uni. When they come to the uni and they see it’s a successful club, people want to be a part of that.

“We are losing a few senior players, so it’s really important that these people are going to be replaced. And the people who are here, it gives them the confidence that they can achieve things, so it’s something for them to build on as well.”

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Hope for Greenock

Although Greenock lost, they too can regard the game as something to build on at the end of a campaign which has seen them finish bottom of National 1. After trailing by those 19 points at the break, they scored first in the second half to briefly give themselves hope of staging a comeback. It was not to be, but coach Ally Hunter was nonetheless encouraged by the defiant attitude of his players.

“I felt that if we cut our errors out we could have clawed our way back into the game,” he said. “When we got the game back to within two scores [at 24-10] I thought we really had a good chance to kick on and try to claw that lead back.

“Unfortunately, we had too many errors in the second half – but that was part of the issue in the first half as well. Fair play to uni, they capitalised on our mistakes really well, and I felt that was the main difference in the game.

“But I’m really pleased with how the girls performed. The improvement over the season has been great – we played a lot better this time compared to the league games. It’s disappointing to lose, but moving on to next season this will give the girls a good feel of the level they can play at.”


Glasgow Univ: Tries: A McGlashan, M Grant 2, S Jessiman 3. Cons: M Grant 2.

Greenock Wanderers: Tries: H Mutton 2, C Cowan. Con: E Grace.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1390 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.