A dramatic last-gasp try from hat-trick hero Stav Williams earned Kenilworth Ladies a place in the final of the Intermediate Cup on Sunday, writes Sophie Freestone.
Bury St Edmunds had put themselves into a seemingly comfortable 24-12 lead with less ten minutes remaining at Glasshouse Lane.
However, the hosts scored three tries in seven minutes to complete an incredible comeback, with Williams’ third try sealing a 29-24 victory at the death.
Kenilworth captain Rebecca Hill was delighted with her side’s never-say-die attitude, which set up a mouthwatering final against Supermarines tomorrow.
“It was a really tough fixture that required us to dig deep to get the win,” said Hill.
“Bury threw everything at us and it was a really physical encounter but I’m just so proud of all the team for sticking at it and not giving up.”
The hosts made a good start with prop Kirsty Davie spotting a gap in the Bury defence to touch down for a try converted by Hill in the eighth minute.
Bury responded well, levelling in the 16th minute with a converted try from their hooker.
Bury then began to get territory and made their field position count with an interception just inside the Kenilworth half, powering past the defence to open up a 12-7 lead on the half-hour mark.
Kenilworth responded with a spell of pressure and their efforts were rewarded as half-time approached. The hosts earned a penalty just outside the Bury 22 and some slick passing saw the ball reach Williams who crossed for her first of the afternoon. The conversion went wide of the uprights to leave the scores at 12-12 at the break.
The opening 15 minutes of the final 40 saw both side’s trying to break through but the defences held firm and it was not until the 58th minute that the first points were scored, with Bury crossing on the left following a five-metre scrum.
The conversion drifted wide of the uprights from a tough angle.
The hosts pressed for a way back but handling errors gave Bury possession and the visitors added their second interception try of the match with less than ten minutes to play.
The conversion extended the visitors’ advantage to 12 points but the hosts were determined to maintain their unbeaten record and Williams started the comeback with her second try of the afternoon to make it 24-17 with five minutes left on the clock.
Sophie Henry then went over in the corner to cut the deficit to two points and give her side real hope. The ball was whipped out to the wing after superb work from the Kenilworth pack took them to within five metres of the line and Henry danced past the defence to score.
And the comeback was complete in injury time when Williams broke through a tired defence to touch down under the posts.