HENLEY WOMEN are now just three points away from securing the Championship South West Division 2 title after comprehensively winning away to local rivals Reading Ladies on Sunday.
Amy Atkinson ran in seven tries as Henley moved 22 points clear at the top of the table with three matches of the season remaining.
Reading had recently strung a good series of wins together and would have been confident going in to face the league leaders but that was short lived as Henley resumed the form shown in their previous match.
With only five minutes gone Henley’s intent to run was evident as Atkinson broke through to score under the posts to make the conversion simple. Minutes later it was Hearn who finished off a sweeping move to stretch over.
Fine overloads and support, a key factor throughout the day, allowed Lester to burst through for her first of the season.
Atkinson’s pace was really causing problems and minutes later she was in for her second. Dudding converted to make it 24-0 after 21 minutes. Aktinson soon claimed her hat-trick and the bonus point. Reading had not seen the ball and still the overloading continued.
Power and pace meant the forwards and backs combined well to put Wheeler in for a carbon copy of her try from the week before. The conversion followed and off the back of quick hands, just left time before the half finished for Atkinson to cross over again.
The attacking was relentless, backed up with solid defence led by Lynch and Solowin. Lynch was also controlling the game off quick ball. It meant Atkinson was on hand time after time and proceeded to score the next three tries. This took the openside’s tally to seven for the day.
This provided a platform for all the changes to be made and allow the flowing rugby to continue.
However, Reading were then able to apply pressure and worked their way into the match. They stuck to the task and limited Henley to a single try from Wells in the final 20. Dudding added the extras.
Henley have no fixture this weekend. They are back in action on February 2 when they entertain Blackheath in the cup before entertaining Supermarine in the league the following week.
Henley Hawks Women: 1 Stacey, 2 Ferguson, 3 Barrett, 4 Lester, 5 Wheeler, 6 Simpson, 7 Atkinson, 8 Wysocki-Jones, 9 Dudding, 10 Lynch, 11 Forbes, 12 Carr, 13 Solowin, 14 Wells, 15 Hearn. Replacements: Beech, Parry, Adams, McKenzie-Dolton.