Hampstead Ladies enjoy two home wins - and 100 points without reply

Alex Bowtell scored the opening try for Hampstead Ladies. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Alex Bowtell scored the opening try for Hampstead Ladies. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead Ladies’ first and second teams were both at home for the first time this season on Sunday – and they racked up 100 points between them without conceding a single score in reply.

Rachel Grovenor (centre). Pic: Paolo Minoli

Rachel Grovenor (centre). Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

The senior XV beat New Ash Green 27-0 in the Women’s Championship South East Division Two, leaving them third in the table.

Meanwhile the second side scored 11 tries as they overcame Harwich & Dovercourt 73-0 on the adjacent pitch, putting them second in National Challenge South East East Division Two.

Hampstead’s first team started well in their match with some good line breaks. New Ash had the benefit of an extremely quick full-back so it took some fine teamwork with supporting lines and offloads to get the breakthrough, with club legend Alex Bowtell going over for the opening try.

Second row Deborah Crossan was next to put points on the board, crossing the line for the first time in four years, and a quick penalty then allowed scrum-half Rachel Grovenor to add her name to the scoresheet and establish a 15-0 lead.

New Ash came out fighting after the interval but Hampstead’s forwards were strong in the scrums and line-outs, even with changes in personnel and positions.

The hosts’ relentless defending tired the visitors out, forcing them into mistakes, and full-back Lilly Hunt added two more tries – a run down the wing following a beautifully-executed backs move and then a successful kick and chase, aided by a perfect bounce.

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Captain Fran Hall added a conversion, while prop Sylvie Fail got the forward of the match award and centre Nadine Mason-Shirley received the backs’ prize, both for their aggression and relentless tackling.

Hampstead Ladies’ second XV were seeking to bounce back from a defeat in their previous outing, and they did so in style with eight different scorers in their 11-try haul against Harwich and Dovercourt.

Rachel Berry, Delphine Tsirinana and Claire Benard crossed the whitewash twice, and Rhian Claydon, Rachel Wallace, Annie Liddiard, Luisa Neinhaus and Jess Tayenjam all went over as well.

Liddiard had an incredibly successful kicking game, managing to convert nine of the 11 scores to add an extra 18 points to the total – and there were also impressive debut performances from Wallace, Samantha Roper and Franziska Thielsch.

Maya Jones was named the forward of the match for her diligent defensive work off the scrums, and the back of the match award went to Claire Benard for her rapid sprints down the wings and excellent support play.

Captain Helena Messiter-Tooze said: “I am just so impressed with the level of skill that was shown in the match.

“The girls have taken what we’ve been doing in training and have managed to translate that on to the pitch. I am looking forward to taking this forward to our home game against Thurrock’s second team next weekend.”