Cardiff Met clinched their 10th BUCS Women’s Championship title as they beat Northumbria 20-5 at Twickenham.
The Premier South champions were ahead after 12 minutes when full-back Elli Norkett touched down after a strong start from Met.
Six minutes later, Olivia Archer then went over for the Welsh side to stretch their lead as Northumbria were left wondering how they were going to get back into this final.
Cardiff Met carried their advantage into the second half and any renewed hope Northumbria may have had after the break quickly evaporated as Cerys Ballett crashed over to help extend Met’s lead.
Shortly after, Norkett crossed for her second of the day to put Cardiff in complete control.
Northumbria weren’t giving up though and as the half wore on, they were rewarded when Captain Lisa Cockburn went over from close range.
But, that was as good as it got for the Premier North winners as Cardiff celebrated a historic 10th championship as no other side has won more titles than the Welsh outfit.
After heartbreak at Twickenham last year against the University of Gloucestershire, Cardiff Met responded emphatically by not only winning the Championship, but also performing superbly throughout the campaign where they suffered just one defeat all season.
As for Northumbria, this defeat was only their second in 25 matches which shows the strength of a side that is constantly improving. Their win over Exeter in the semi-finals proves just that.
But at Twickenham, the day belonged to Cardiff Met and their intentions were clear early on when full-back Norkett escaped the tackles of the Northumbria defence to race over and give her side the perfect start.
The chance came after some great retention and recycling of the ball from Cardiff with player of the match Oliva Freya Jones at the heart of everything for her side.
Met were unable to convert, but after the restart, the Welsh side continued to fashion opportunities and create nervous moments for a Northumbria side that had begun this final on the back foot.
Northumbria’s resilient defence was frustrating Cardiff Met as their attacking ploys were been snuffed out, but as the pressure mounted, the north-east side finally cracked as Archer dotted down to double Met’s advantage.
Met were well worth their lead in the opening quarter of this final, but they had to turn their attention to defensive duties as Northumbria sparked into life.
The action was growing increasingly frenetic and demanded a calming influence for Northumbria, but after a series of promising moves, they were unable to breakthrough before half-time.
With the second 40 barely underway, Cardiff Met had try number three of the afternoon as Ballet charged over.
It got even better for the Premier South winners as on 45 minutes, Norkett touched down in the corner to make the score 20-0 and the title now looked certain to be heading back to Wales.
But, like in the first-half, Northumbria slowly clicked into gear and started to use their power up front to create inroads towards the Cardiff Met line.
A series of kicks into the corner and rolling mauls were thwarted by Met, but eventually the referee brandished Cardiff Met centre Jade Shekells a yellow-card which opened the door further for Northumbria to get on the board for the first time in this final.
Moments after Shekells’ dismissal, Northumbria were able to capitalise on their extra player as Cockburn dotted down underneath a crowd of players as Northumbria deservedly opened their account at Twickenham.
However, the final 15 minutes saw Cardiff Met tighten their grip on proceedings as they went close on a couple more occasions and they were able to see the game out to seal another BUCS Championship.
Stay tuned next week for our exclusive video highlights and interviews from finals day in partnership with BUCS!