Panthers battle hard but just miss out

Whitchurch 27 - Pembroke Panthers 22

Whitchurch attacked from the outset and although there was some solid defensive work and Lottie Bird, who was forced to cover back to cover a clever kick but forced into touch and from a sustained series of big drives and excellent inter play by their powerful pack and backs they scored a try which was also converted.

The home side almost added a second from the restart but a good cover tackle by Pearl van Ellis saved the try- but from the ensuing line out the Panthers were made to pay for a mix up at a lineout on their own five-mere line gifted Whitchurch another five points.

Panthers begin to fight-back but gift a vital try near half time


The Panthers kept plugging away and a pep talk at a stoppage for injury midway through the half gone saw them begin their fight-back where big runs by Faye Stratford, Fi Griffiths and van Ellis made inroads into the Whitchurch half.  

But Pembroke lost the ball at a ruck before Bird made a strong tackle when the opposition looked likely to score on a break out – and scrambled defence held them out and turned the ball over. Powerful carries by Chloe Jones, Stratford and Griffiths eventually gave Van Ellis some space which she exploited for a long range unconverted try. 12-5

There was a period of time where neither side made much headway but then a home break down the wing was stopped by a good tackle into touch by Rhiannon Griffiths from full back.

But The Panthers failed to control the lineout and more pressure on their goal line, followed by a scrum five saw Whitchurch to score an unconverted try to take a 17-5 lead into the interval.

Pembroke start second half well

The Panthers made a good start to the second period as tackles by Carys Slack and Emma Taylor put the home side under pressure before a poor clearance kick gifted the ball to Van Ellis, which she did well to score from.

A series of mistakes by both sides led to a sloppy period of play and strong defence led by Jamie Moseley and Lauren Morgan held them out but eventually Whitchurch found space for a try – and they built pressure through a series of forward drives and backs looking to exploit any gaps to advance their advantage to 22-10.

Late fight back in vain

But The Panthers showed real resilience and a big effort by the tight 5 of Kirsty Fisher, Jamie Moseley, Angharad Scourfield, Lucy Neill and Vicky Wetherall, aided by Isabelle Dufresnoy, pushed them off their own ball and led to Van Ellis scoring her hat trick.

And Pembroke finished in style after good play up front, and eventually a scrum five metres out saw Van Ellis unstoppable on a powerful surge for her fourth try, to make the final score in an action-packed tussle 27-22 to a relieved Whitchurch.


‘Player of the Day’ for The Panthers was Pearl Van Ellis and their‘Muppet of the Day’ was Lucy Neale for tackling herself!

Pembroke Panthers:

Kirsty Fisher; Jamie Mosely; Angharad Scourfield; Lucy Neale; Vicki Wetherall;

Isabelle Dufresnoy; Lauren Morgan; Pearl Van Ellis; Gail John; Chloe Jones; Lottie Bird,

Fi Griffiths; Sian Rees; Carys Slack; Rhiannon Griffiths; Faye Stratford, Emma Taylor