Hunt scores a hat-trick as Hampstead Ladies overcome Romford and Gidea Park
- Credit: Archant
Club captain Lilly Hunt scored a hat-trick as Hampstead Ladies ended a run of four straight defeats by beating Romford and Gidea Park 26-15 in Women’s Championship South East Division Two.
The home team were shocked into action on the Heath extension as Romford touched down less than 10 minutes in, but they missed the conversion and Hampstead responded soon after, with Hunt sprinting 80m down the wing to score – and fly-half Fran Hall added the extras to put her side into the lead.
The forwards dominated the breakdowns, turning over the ball in hard-fought rucks several times in the first half, and pack leader Megan Griffiths made excellent ground with solid ball carrying while flanker Danielle Williamson ran sharp lines to keep the team going forward.
The Ravens were reduced to 14 as their full-back was given a yellow card for repeated offside and Hampstead increased their advantage as a maul turned into a hard-earned try from second row Deborah Crossan.
With 15 women back on the pitch, Romford crossed the line again to narrow the gap to 14-10 at half-time, and both sides upped their game after the interval.
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Hampstead were determined to seal their second victory of the season and quick turnovers and intense scrummaging gave the backs clean ball, allowing new girl and winger Chloe Atkinson to make a few line breaks – and Hunt shot down the wing for a second time to cross the whitewash.
Hampstead were then reduced to 14 as centre Faye Hamp was sinbinned, but impenetrable defence ensured Romford were kept at bay for the ensuing 10 minutes.
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The hosts let their guard down when Hamp returned to the field, and a Romford try gave them cause for concern - but clinical phases and sharp hands allowed Hunt to complete her hat-trick under the posts.
Romford found themselves in possession as the clock ticked past 80 minutes, but a turnover at the breakdown meant the ball found its way to Hall, who cleared it to confirm Hampstead’s victory.