Hunt’s haul of five tries helps Hampstead Ladies to third successive victory

Lilly Hunt scored five tries for Hampstead's ladies. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Lilly Hunt scored five tries for Hampstead's ladies. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead Ladies eased to their third victory in as many games with a convincing 45-17 win over Hammersmith & Fulham in Championship South East Division Two, thanks to Lilly Hunt’s impressive haul of five tries.

Seven of Hampstead RFC's girls have gained Middlesex county honours

Seven of Hampstead RFC's girls have gained Middlesex county honours - Credit: Archant

The fullback’s performance earned her the back of the match award and lifted Hampstead to third in the table, before a knee injury forced her off in the second half.

Hampstead started well, as Nadine Mason-Shirley broke the Hammersmith defence to allow Alex Hamilton to cross the line.

Captain Fran Hall led by example, as she gained ground with a run of well positioned kicks, while the forwards proved to be equally dominant in the scrum.

After the restart, Maya Jones made an immediate impact with a series of hard hitting tackles as Hampstead stretched their lead.

However in the final 10 minutes, with Hampstead suffering from injuries, Hammersmith ran in two tries to narrow the margin, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an away bonus point win.

Meanwhile, Hampstead RFC’s girls have cause to be proud after seven players gained Middlesex county honours in only the third year of running girls rugby.

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Hampstead Ladies’ second team took on Stanford Sirens at home and, with Stanford only turning up with 13 players, the game became 12-a-side, with Hampstead triumphing 43-27.

Second row Orla Hillary opened the scoring after three minutes and the hosts then touched down four more times through Hillary, debutant Anne Rodenburgh, Katheryn Davey and Lidddiard, who was able to convert three of the tries to establish a 31-10 half-time lead.

Stanford hit back with three tries and a conversion after the interval but Hampstead settled in the last 15 minutes and Davey won a penalty try, which she converted, before Becca Bickley added a final score. Kirsty Morgan was awarded player of the match.

Captain Helena Messiter-Tooze said: “I just want to say how proud I am of the team for playing so amazingly well, adapting really well to the 12-a-side game and working out niggles with all of those changes which ensured everyone got some decent game time.

“Lots of people were playing out of position, trying new positions and key players were missing and yet look at what we’re able to achieve. New girls training has paid off and no-one would have guessed that they were playing their first matches.”

Elsewhere, Hampstead’s men were denied a third successive league victory after a combination of ill-discipline and poor decisions cost them victory in the closing stages as they lost 17-14 against HAC.

A tight first-half saw Honourable Artillery Company RFC take an early 6-0 lead through two long-range penalties.

It was off the back of a strong carry from Pat Wilson that Hampstead hit back when Will Pettit made a break and offloaded to Alex Woodhouse, who burst 40 yards up-field before finding debutant winger James Ferguson to score under the posts.

Dan Dimoline converted and then added another penalty to hand Hampstead a 10-6 half-time lead.

Hampstead continued in the same vain after the re-start, but struggled to find a way across the whitewash, as HAC benefited from a sereies of Hampstead penalties, as the hosts closed the gap to 14-12.

Then, with one minute remaining and winger Neil Watt in the sin bin for taking someone out in the air, Hampstead conceded a penalty.

From the kick, HAC charged up-field and made their numerical advantage count with a decisive try in the corner to win 17-14.