HENLEY HAWKS WOMEN maintained their 100 per cent league and cup record as they secured a place in the final of the Intermediate Cup with a 33-14 victory over Championship North League side Novocastrian Ladies at Dry Leas on Sunday.
Playing in front of a large crowd, the hosts started brightly when Hearn burst through on a well-timed run but a good scramble defence meant Henley were not able to capitalise.
Play then moved to the home side’s half and through a good break from the fullback, a following kick through caused a bouncing ball to land in Novo’s hands for a simple score under the posts.
The Hawks hit back by calmly working their way into the opposition 22. The phases were mounting and it would tell as Lynch put Wheeler through from a few metres out. With the kick it was now 7-7 and game on. Atkinson then won a fine line off Dudding to leave the cover for dead. From here in the Hawks never looked back as they were controlling the tempo.
With play taking place in the Novos’ half, further patient build up allowed Parry to cross in the corner. Half-time approached and the solid defence meant it finished 19-7.
Early in the second half Lester breached the defence with a run a metre short and overloaded to Wheeler for her second. The kick was converted.
Seven minutes later Dudding ducked through under the sticks before converting.
With Henley in a commanding lead the hosts took the opportunity to make several changes. The visitors, who play in a division above the Hawks, kept pounding away. The intensity was still high and meant Hearn, Forbes and Wysocki-Jones all left the field with knocks and with the bench all on, Henley played out the final few minutes with 14 players.
Novocastrians’ efforts were rewarded in the final passage of play as they scored wide out before adding the conversion.
Henley Hawks Women will now face another Championship North side in the final when they play Eccles Ladies at Litchfield RFC on Saturday, March 29, kick-off 11.45am.
Henley Hawks Women: 1 Stacey, 2 Barrett, 3 Adams, 4 Lester, 5 Wheeler, 6 Simpson, 7 Atkinson, 8 Wysocki-Jones, 9 Forbes, 10 Dudding, 11 Parry, 12 Lynch, 13 Solowin, 14 Lathbury-Haig, 15 Hearn. Replacements: Beech, Ferguson, Mckenzie-Dalton, Williams, Tivey, Harrison.