HOSTS Henley Hawks Women maintained their 100 per cent record in all competitions as they secured a last eight place in the Intermediate Cup against Blackheath on Sunday.
The visitors play in the equivalent league to the Hawks and currently sit top of their table. The last time the two sides met, in a friendly two years ago, Blackheath ran out winners.
With the constant rainfall during the week play took place on the back pitches, but allowed for a firm track underfoot.
Both sides started brightly and went on the attack. After five minutes the Hawks started to control possession and pressed hard for the opening score. Blackheath were up for the task and looked to clear with the boot to relieve pressure. This just meant the Hawks could run it back and eventually one of Solowin’s strong charges was rewarded.
The lead was short lived as the visitors had some pace of their own and good hands allowed a winger to score in the corner.
The Hawks did not panic and continued to keep the ball alive and probe. Dudding and Lynch were starting to find gaps but strong tackling kept the line secure. That was until a well-timed run from Hearn made it 10-5.
Henley looked to play in the opposite end as Lynch pinned them back with kicks, allowing the half to be played out with the hosts in control.
With still all to play for both sides looked to move the ball and bring their pace into the attack.
Blackheath’s fullback and centre was a constant threat and the number eight made good yards but a trademark of the Hawks season has been their defence and tackle after tackle came in from Ferguson, Simpson and Solowin.
Henley returned favour and worked their way into the 22. The pressure was mounting and a number of opportunities went begging.
With the visitors struggling to clear their line, a charge down from Dudding saw her create some space.
With changes off the bench, Hearn was now playing at inside centre and intercepted a pass to finish off under the posts and any chance of a comeback. With Dudding adding the extras it secured a place in the quarter-finals.
Henley Hawks Women: 1 Stacey, 2 Ferguson, 3 Barrett, 4 Lester, 5 Wheeler, 6 Simpson, 7 Atkinson, 8 Wysocki-Jones, 9 Forbes, 10 Dudding, 11 Gross, 12 Lynch, 13 Solowin, 14 Wells, 15 Hearn. Replacements: Parry, Beech, Adams, Mckenzie-Dolton, Carr.