Feb 05, 2017
Overtime score sinks Saracens Women in Cup
A last gasp try in injury time for Aylesford Bulls snatched away a win from Saracens Women in Round 3 of the Cup on Sunday.
Sarries thought they'd done enough to secure the victory when replacement winger Seraphine Okemba burst from her own half to outpace the defence and dot down with two minutes remaining, however an error off the restart allowed the home side to ship wide and touch down to take the game.
Saracens started brightly with a period of pressure leading to an opening score courtesy of Zoe Harrison, the fly half converting her own effort. Aylesford then hit back through scrum half Leanne Riley and hooker Davinia Monteiro.
The visitors were dealt a blow as they lost their captain Bryony Cleall to injury after 23 minutes, to be replaced by Becky Roby. Sarries managed to head into the break on top as Mackinder spotted the gap but was dragged down inches short. Lotte Clapp spotted the opportunity to finish as she dived over from close range to give Sarries a narrow two point lead after 40 minutes.
Both teams ramped up the tempo in the second half with a total of seven tries notched up. Sarries struck first through solid forward work turning over the Aylesford scrum and recycled well for prop Karlee Walters to cross the whitewash. Aylesford replied two fold with scores from Amy Turner and Fiona Fletcher. Sarries hooker Kat Evans spotted the gap to dart over after 63 minutes to edge the visitors ahead but the lead was short lived as Riley went over for her second five minutes later to swing the advantage back in Aylesford's favour. Sarries refused to back down and were rewarded with two minutes remaining through a superb solo effort from Okemba to give them a four point lead.
A fumble off the restart gifted possession back to the home side however Sarries were let off the hook when a kick nudged through came to nothing and was gathered up by Jeanina Yoyola. An infringement at the subsequent breakdown proved costly as Sarries failed to close the game out allowing Aylesford to run off the penalty and score the winner via Jess Wooden in the dying seconds.
Speaking after the game, Saracens Women's head coach, Rob Cain said: "Yesterday showed our great qualities but also showed that we can still be our own worst enemy.
It was a great game for the neutral that was full of drama right up to the last whistle.
Everyone showed huge heart, determination and fight to drag ourselves back into the lead with two minutes to go but we shot ourselves in the foot and our accuracy let us down to gift them the winning score. We learnt lots today and as painful and frustrating as it is, we came away with two bonus points which will matter come the end of the pool stages."