Tuesday, 20 November 2018
HENLEY Hawks Women suffered a 19-7 defeat away at Blackheath last Sunday.
The start of the game was a little slow with the Blackheath defence pressing up fast on Henley. This all changed when Henley turned over the ball in a line out. Anne Wheeler then successfully cleared the ball giving the visitors some breathing room.
With big tackles by Tina Simpson and Nicole Ashman, Blackheath seemed to be feeling the pressure but through their strength in the forwards they managed to work their way up the pitch and secure a penalty in Henley’s 22. For 15 minutes Henley valiantly defended their try-line. Ellis Collins and Jeni Kingman led the way, both dominating the tackle area and driving the attacking Blackheath back.
A sudden breakthrough by Blackheath saw Sophie Thompson make a cover tackle. Henley turned over the ball and Anne Wheeler provided another solid clearance kick out of the Henley 22.
After 22 minutes of Henley defence Blackheath broke the line and scored a try under the posts which was converted to lead 7-0.
Hawks once again stole the ball in the line-out, but an accidental obstruction meant Blackheath utilised their main strength, the scrum. This solid scrum led to a second try as the hosts led 12-0.
Henley hit back with immediate pressure from the kick off and Zoe Franklin skilfully turned over the ball in a ruck. Anne Wheeler cleared and Blackheath kicked it right back into the hands of Sophie Thompson. With good vision, Thompson went on a run as Henley showed off their good hands, connecting both the forwards and the backs. With a stream of offloads between four of the Henley players, Heli Copley scored a try under the posts which was converted to make it 12-7 at half-time.
In the second half Henley kept their tackles hard and low and pushed Blackheath back but following a series of difficult scrums Henley received a yellow card. With one player down Henley upped the tempo and a line-out move between Wheeler and Katy Wysocki-Jones moved Henley into the Blackheath 22. Unfortunately, Blackheath managed to regain the ball and work their way up the pitch, scoring for a third time to make it 19-7.
In the final 10 minutes of the game Blackheath spotted a gap but Hill’s pace and cover tackle kept them from the try line and forced a knock on.
Henley moved forward down the pitch, coming close to scoring a second try when they were turned over and the ball kicked into touch.
The level that each member of the Henley team played was so high that three players received player of the match for the visitors — Wheeler, Jeni Kingman and Ellis Collins.
05 November 2018
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