Spence "proud" of promoted Kenilworth Ladies despite Cup final defeat
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Kenilworth Ladies' superb Cup run ended in a 57-5 defeat to Supermarine Ladies in the RFU Intermediate Cup final at Cheshunt RFC on Saturday. However, disappointment turned to delight just moments after the match when the Ladies were told of their promotion to Women's Championship Midlands 2 for next season, writes Sophie Freestone.
Speaking to Glasshouse TV after the match, the side's number eight, Caroline Spence, described how proud she is of her team's achievements despite defeat: "The result didn't go our way today but we went out there and played our hearts out.
"Coming runners up having only started three years ago, I'm so proud of what we've achieved. We never let our heads drop and we really played the 'Kenilworth Way'. At times we looked very dangerous, we did put them under pressure and we played as a team."
The Ladies travelled to Hertfordshire for the final to take on a side two leagues above them. Despite conceding an early try, they responded well to score a try of their own through speedster Sophie Henry who raced up the left to touch down. Supermarine then crossed the whitewash a further three times in the opening forty, one of which was the result of an interception following significant Kenilworth pressure in the Supermarine 22. Those tries put Kenilworth's Wiltshire opposition into a 26-5 lead at the break.
Supermarine then came out firing in the second half, scoring two tries in as many minutes for a 38-5 lead after 45 minutes. Another three tries in ten minutes took the score to 57-5 before excellent defence from Kenilworth kept their opposition at bay for the final 15 minutes.
It has been superb season for Kenilworth Ladies with just one defeat in 14 league matches. Their head coach, Tim Burden, then ensured it would be a day to remember in Cheshunt when he told his side of their promotion success.
"Being promoted is the best possible news," added Spence. "While we didn't win the Cup, we've been promoted to Championship 2 so it's a really great day for us.
Looking ahead to next season, which will see the Ladies take on the likes of Lichfield Ladies II, Birmingham Moseley Ladies and Old Leamingtonians, Spence acknowledged that her side will have to prepare well during the off-season. "We've got a lot of hard work and preparation to do over the summer.
"I think we just need to get to next season, settle in, find our feet, see how we get on and try to make our mark in that league. We deserve to be in that league and we are going to make the most of it!"