The first of the double-header at the Scotstoun Stadium marked the occasion well, as the first varsity match between the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde’s women’s teams took place.
Both teams entered the match full of energy, clearly relishing the chance to represent their clubs in the fixture’s first ever women’s varsity match. Back in October, Strathclyde overcame Glasgow 29-10, and would be looking to repeat that result. Glasgow meanwhile would want to avoid a recurrence and win the first varsity tie.
Glasgow started the match well, they were able to keep their opponents out of their half for the first 10 minutes of the game and got their just rewards when they made it 5-0 on the fourteenth minute. Glasgow kept up the pressure while Strathclyde tried to find a way through, and made a clean break down the left wing to score a magnificent try and the scores were tied. The lead wasn’t to last though, as following a Strath knock-on, a scrum was awarded that pushed the Badgers up the pitch. They took advantage of this position and managed to restore their lead, 10-5. Following a few injuries, and a brilliant run, cutting through the Strath women from Glasgow’s Katie Purves, halftime was called.
The teams had started off Varsity 2023 in great fashion. The sold-out crowd was really finding their voice from the stands, and the Strathclyde cheerleaders put in a great show before the second half was underway.
It was a much-improved start this time from Strathclyde as they gained ground, hunting for the equaliser. Despite Glasgow extending their lead and being stopped by a last-ditch tackle in what seemed a sure try, Strath kept up their improved showing and went ahead for the first time in the match.
Now, two points down, the pressure was on Glasgow to find a way back. They tried to do just that by driving Strath back and gaining some ground. Their efforts paid off when, with some tightly contested play in the Strath half and bodies surrounding the try-line, the referee blew to signal a try had been scored. Glasgow had found their way back to a lead and the following conversion restored the 5-point difference.
Both teams made some late attacks, but the scored remained the same until the final whistle. The first instalment of Varsity between Glasgow and Strathclyde women went the way of Glasgow, edging the game 22-17.
Glasgow’s Debbie Lee was the player of the match in what was an enthralling contest, played to a really high level. Both teams put in top performances and kicked off the night brilliantly, but it was to be Glasgow’s night as the trophy went the way of the Badgers.