Greenock Wanderers 72
GARY HEATLY @ Murrayfield
GREENOCK WANDERERS made up for losses on the big stage previously with this clinical performance in the Women’s Bowl against a gutsy Livingston team, in the process sending departing coach Ally Hunter off in style. They ran in 12 tries, but it says something of the way that Livingston full-back Leanne Moir took her two tries that she was named player of the match. For Wanderers, Catriona Cowan led the way from full-back with four tries.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls,” said Hunter afterwards. “We knew that we came into the game as favourites, but that can sometimes bring its own challenges and I thought we played the way we wanted to play and were clinical in attack.
“I actually was most pleased with our defence, we never let off in that area and kept things tight. It is a nice way to sign off with the team and I wish them all the best for the future, they are a great bunch.”
Wanderers skipper Hannah Mutton added: “We have often been the bridesmaids, never the brides, but this time we are and it feels very good. We will miss Ally, he is more like a friend than a coach, and we want to thank him for everything he has done for us.”
In defeat, Livingston’s Moir said: “It was a great achievement for us just to get to this final, to take up a full squad and subs to Stornoway in one of the previous rounds shows all you need to know about our commitment. Greenock played well and deserved their win, but we are a new team and these are exciting times at Livingston.”
Wanderers got off to a flying start with an early try from winger Lesley Cadenhead and that seemed to settle them down. Try number two came from centre Caitlyn Haldane soon after and at 10-0 they were in charge.
Livingston tried to get back into things and they were certainly flying up in defence, but Greenock were getting the ball wide and causing them trouble in that area. Cowan burst through from full-back to get try number three and although they were all unconverted to that point, they were 15-0 to the good.
Then came the try of the day from Moir for Livingston, when she stole the ball in a collision on the right and pinned her ears back to run in and score from 70 metres. That got the Livingston fans jumping up and down, and rightly so, making it 15-5.
That score obviously annoyed the Wanderers who went on to score two more tries before the break with Cowan and Cadenhead both claiming their second scores of the day to leave things at 25-5 after 40 minutes.
In the second half, Greenock did not let up and they were keen to put the game of bed. Their sixth try came from No.8 Tina Hemphill and she was on target with the conversion to make it 32-5.
Next to score for Greenock was Erin Haldane and then her sister Caitlyn scored her second with Hemphill kicking both conversions to make it 46-5. Cowan’s hat-trick try took Greenock over the half century mark with a Hemphill conversion.
Moir then grabbed her second spectacular try for Livingston with No.8 Chelsea Watt converting to leave things at 53-12.
That was again the signal for Greenock to go up the gears and Caitlyn Haldane secured a hat-trick, Cowan grabbed her fourth and Hemphill went over to finish off the scoring.
Livingston: L Moir; E Jenkyns, H Moir, S Madden, L Prentice; L Kidd, L Steele; T Reilly, K McElwee, D McInnes, L Fennelly, K Robertson, K Shiell, R Munro, C Watt. Subs: L Cooper, C Stewart, S Dickson, A Saeed, T Tollan, L McInnes, E Mackie.
Greenock Wanderers: C Cowan; L Cadenhead, C Haldane, E Haldane, C Calderwood; H Mutton (C), B Addison; S Hayton, S Hicks, E Gray, G Guertson, K Hemphill, E Grace, A Thomson, T Hemphill. Subs: M Crumlish, L Edwards, H Grace, D Hughes, M Lyle, S Irvine, L O’Neill.
Referee: Allana McLean.
Livingston: Tries: Moir 2. Con: Watt.
Greenock Wanderers: Cadenhead 2, C Haldane 3, Cowan 4, Hemphill 2, E Haldane. Cons: Hemphill 6.
Scoring sequence: (Livingston first): 0-5, 0-10, 0-15, 5-15, 5-20, 5-25 (h-t), 5-30, 5-32, 5-37, 5-39, 5-44, 5-46, 5-51, 5-53, 10-53, 12-53, 12-58, 12-60, 12-65, 12-70, 12-72 .
Player-of-the-Match: For Greenock, Catriona Cowan, Caitlyn Haldane, Lesley Cadenhead and conversion-kicking No.8 Tina Hemphill could have all won it, but for two great solo tries the prize went to Livingston full-back Leanne Moir, her first try in particularly a beauty.