Sunday, 15 December 2019

Denton is hat-trick hero as Nuns maintain 100 per cent record

Denton is hat-trick hero as Nuns maintain 100 per cent record

AN Alice Denton hat-trick and a debut season try for second row Fiona Manning inspired another impressive second half performance from Abbey Nuns, who showed their strength in depth after making some key positional changes due to injury, as they ran out comfortable winners on Sunday.

Devonshire visitors Plymouth Albion, despite having a shortened warm-up due to travel disruption, had the upper hand from the off, stringing together good phases and competing well at the breakdown; an area of their game which they dominated in.

Good interlinking play from their half-backs threatened the Nuns’ try-line but excellent defence in key areas kept them at bay, with characteristic strong tackles from Abi Wall and Jess Williams.

The Nuns showed good patience after a frustrating first quarter by regrouping and making good ground up the pitch through tactical kicking from the boot of Denton. Utilising their dominant scrum to perfection the forward pack worked in perfect synchronisation, angling to allow Denton to cross in the corner for the Nuns’ first try of the day.

Moments later the Nuns pack surged forward again with strong carries from hooker Harri Driver and prop Jess Potter and Meaghan Fowler was unlucky not to cross for a try that was heroically held up. From the resulting scrum a series of strong forward carries started by Joey Fowler resulted in Manning crossing the whitewash for her first try of the season.

Albion were keen to hit back before half-time and they did through powerful running from their number eight Terri Cormack who burst through a gap in a moment of disarray for the Nuns’ defence.

Quick hands out to the wing found winger Millie Chaston, who crossed for her side’s only try of the day. It was the Nuns who had the final say before half-time, with a chip-kick through from captain Annette Bevan resulted in Denton grabbing her second try after crossing from close-range.

The second half saw some key positional changes for the Nuns, with Alice Lawrence making good impact from the bench with her carries and hits. Quick, reactive play saw Wall cross from a tap penalty as well as King cross from short range.

The Nuns were now enjoying wide, expansive rugby and with Ellie Rice rejoining the pitch after a short lay-off from injury, the back three of Bevan, Shephard and Williams combined well to work the ball to the outer channels. Denton rounded off her hat-trick in style on the back of a surging run from Williams, and Bevan rounded off proceedings in the opposite corner moments before the final whistle.

Elsewhere Abbey Nuns 2nds had a close derby match with Rams Sirens, with the visitors pipping the home side to the final score 15-19.

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