Captain Hall hails Hampstead Ladies’ variety as they secure third place

Lilly Hunt and Francisca Hall both scored tries for Hampstead Ladies. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Lilly Hunt and Francisca Hall both scored tries for Hampstead Ladies. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead Ladies secured a third-place finish with a game to play as they earned a home win in their penultimate game on Sunday.

Melissa Wright opened the scoring early in the game and the prolific Lilly Hunt then continued her fine try-scoring form, touching down in both halves before captain Francisca Hall got in on the act.

Hampstead are one point ahead of fourth-placed Hammersmith & Fulham Ladies, who have played all of their league fixtures – and Hampstead still have one to go, at home against Ashford Ladies, but they have no chance of finishing any higher.

Hall said: “Once again we have shown how strong we are as a team all the way from number one to 15.

“We scored tries of every type in this game, from solo efforts to team hands to one from the pure strength and organisation of the forwards. We know we have secured a good league position this year and it also means we have a good solid foundation to build on next season.”

The hosts started strongly and, after a well-taken lineout early in the game, the forwards showed their strength with a rolling maul, pushing over the line with the forward of the match Wright having the final touch.

Romford hit back with a try in the corner though, after nearly 15 phases of play, and although Hampstead used the speed of their backs to good effect, with Hunt, going over the whitewash, the visitors dotted down in the corner to leave the scores level at 10-10 at the break.

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In the second half the hosts’ forwards dealt incredibly well against the heavier Romford pack in the scrums, and their replacements also stood up to the test.

The backs then found weak points and, with quick line speed mixed with pressure from the forwards in the breakdown, the away team began to succumb to the pressure with multiple knock-ons and turnovers.

Hunt went over for her second try of the game, gaining the back of the match award, and skipper Hall was able to add a score of her own after some brilliant interplay from the backs and forwards, showing how well the team has gelled together this season.

Meanwhile, Hampstead’s men were thrashed 50-3 away at Hammsersmith & Fulham in London North-West Division Two, leaving them eighth in the table, but level on points with the two teams immediately above them.