Saturday, 25 May 2019

Bath have the edge

THE hoofing boot of Alice Denton proved an apt barometer to measure Abbey Nuns’ progression in their fifth championship game against Bath Ladies on Sunday, writes Fiona Tomas.

Growing into her newly-accustomed position at fly-half, Denton’s pinpointed kicking was the cornerstone of Abbey’s attacking game plan which kept them on the front foot for large parts of the match.

With it she landed the Nuns continual territory in Bath’s half and the belief that the Emmer Green side can match the demands of elite championship rugby.

The wet and blustery conditions at Rosehill looked set to foreshadow another ominous defeat for the Nuns – who were searching for their first win of the season.

For a whole 79 minutes of the match – by which time Abbey were leading by a taut two points – the roars of the Rosehill crowd ferociously deafened such a possibility.

Moments earlier Denton scored a penalty to steer Abbey into a slender 17-15 lead.

The last quarter of an hour rolled on in similar fashion to the previous three, with both teams grappling against the greasy conditions on a wet pitch, which so often disrupted the fluidity of the game.

The visitors attacked from a late line-out and stormed relentlessly into Abbey’s half, their winger powering through to thump down for victory.

Seizing the initiative early on Pippa Robinson burst through after 20 minutes played to feed Annette Tomas, who wheeled round the right to slide in under the posts. Hollie King powered through several bodies in a fleeting attacking move which saw Tomas dot down her second of the game, before Denton added the extras.

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