HENLEY HAWKS WOMEN stay on course to defend their Intermediate Cup title after reaching the final for the second consecutive year
HENLEY HAWKS WOMEN stay on course to defend their Intermediate Cup title after reaching the final for the second consecutive year.
Loughborough RFC Ladies, like Henley last year, won promotion into the equivalent northern league and to date, had only lost two games this season.
The visiting side, a mixture of local talent and students, were fit and quick and looked to cause the Hawks problems throughout and right from the off it was clear they wanted to bring their pace at 10 and wing into the game.
Henley on the other hand are not shy of gas too, but with Lathbury-Haig having to come off after two minutes, the new look backline had to adjust.
The hosts’ advantage was soon told as the scrums mounted but a dominant display by the forwards meant Borough were struggling for a good set piece ball and helped nullify the treat at 10 for large periods.
The Hawks were contesting well on the line-out too, as Wheeler stole plenty of ball. Loughborough were competitive at the breakdown though and meant that an entertaining first 20 minutes stayed scoreless. Although mainly due to a superb chasing tackle from Tomas when it looked like they were in.
It would be far to say at this point the Hawks were in the ascendancy and another series of pressure allowed Hearn to get her reward for a fine display and pick a line under the posts.
Dudding converted but the lead was short lived. Henley pressed only to turn over ball and see it returned 70m to make it 7-5. A warning of their ability to score.
The Hawks forwards through Wysocki-Jones, Tadman and Allen were running hard and helping control the possession. A scrum five metres out meant a chance for the pack to power forward again. It resulted in the ball popping out and Atkinson reacted first to make it 14-5 before the break.
Henley dominated the second half and drove a series ofÂ line-outs in the opponents’ 22 and following another drive Atkinson snuck into the corner. As the game slipped away Borough looked to run from everywhere and the penalties mounted as they enjoyed a good 15 minutes. They were able to work the ball to their dangerous 10 to use her pace and score under the sticks.
Henley stuck to their game plan and continued to gain good ground through the forwards. With about 10 minutes to go, good link play between forward and backs saw Wheeler come on a well-timed angled run to seal the match. Dudding added her third kick to bring the score to 26-12.
Loughborough never quit and still continued to attack. Once again another last-ditch tackle by Tomas meant the score line stayed the same. Henley will travel to Lichfield for the final on April 11.
Squad: 1)Kerry Beech, 2) Lucy Allen, 3) Bobby Barrett, 4) Emma Tadman, 5) Wysocki-Jones, 6) Tina Simpson, 7) Amy Atkinson, 8) Anne Wheeler, 9) Yaz Lathbury-Haig, 10) Carly Dudding, 11) Rachel Parry, 12) Aisling Byrne, 13) Ann-Marie Solowin, 14) Annette Tomas, 15) Elizabeth Hearn. Subs: Jenni Balmer, Mel Mckenzie-Dalton, Sarah Adam, Pip Timmins, Charlotte Sealey, Maddy Peris.