07 Oct Cheltenham Civil Service Ladies vs Greyhound Ladies
Powered on from the home crowd, Service triumphantly fought back from a 26-0 deficit at the break to score four consecutive unanswered tries, however fell short in the last quarter to finish 40-24 at the whistle.
A series of two exit kicks hastily saw Service under pressure in their own territory within the first ten minutes. From an initial Greyhounds lineout, a turnover ball fed out to fly-half Jacqs Haines gave Service much needed possession and ground. Jacqs teased the supporting crowd by producing a scintillating break up the pitch, only narrowly being tackled out of play.
It was all Greyhounds in the first quarter; however, superb tackles from Hannah Smith, Lucy Wood and Lucy Burnett kept the visitors in check. A sturdy and well-timed push from Greyhounds on their left wing bounded over the first try at 17 minutes in. Greyhounds utilised their momentum to catch Service off guard at the restart and following a secondary forward phase and a number of missed tackles, Greyhounds were able to deliver over the line five minutes later. An exploitation of a defensive breach from the scrum granted the visitors another two tries pass the whitewash in the first half.
Service needed a reply quickly and hitting back in the second half, applied pressure to earn an early scrum midfield. Outstanding team play from the set piece and a superior drive from Becky Parsons created crucial yards and rewarded the hosts with a warranted score less than two minutes from the break.
With a new found confidence, Service continued to work their attacking magic for the next 20 minutes, with Tzara Marriott securing points at the corner flag and Greyhounds looking nervous as they grounded the ball on the Service line shortly after. Following the five-metre scrum and a whipped out pass from scrumhalf Ali Jones, Jacqs galloped through the defence and helped herself to five points under the posts.
Executing a few show-and-goes, Ash ‘Zimbabwean Zig Zag’ Steyn, commanded movement up the pitch following the restart, with Service winning the lineout moments later from a penalty. An almost impossible caught ball from Becky kept the possession deservedly with Service as patient handling from the backs over to Ash secured a crashing the ball over the line for Service’s fourth try of the game.
The final quarter was not to go in Service’s favour as numerous penalties were given away whilst Greyhound’s speedy centres negotiated open gaps to run through two further tries. Despite the loss, moments of thrilling rugby shone through from Service who executed authoritative drives and excellent line breaks.
Huge thanks to the numerous supporters who came out to watch the Ladies, as well as the fabulous Hannah Gwilliam for taking snaps in the new kit, sponsored by Direct Cellars, EDM Solutions and William Jackson Food Group. Service now have a weekend break and travel over to Towcester Roses on Sunday 21stOctober.
Forwards: Helen Stanton, Imogen Byrne, Lucy Wood, Flora Hodges, Salome Ash, Amber Coxhill, Ashlyn Steyn Elly Holliday, Katie Lake, Faye Walton, Becky Parsons, Jess Yeates
Backs: Ali Jones, Jacqs Haines, Tzara Marriott, Lucy Burnett, Sarah Boyles, Cat Wallace, Hannah Smith, Lauren Dransfield, Lisa Lancett
Try scorers: Jacqs Haines x 1, Ash Steyn x 2, Tzara Marriott x 1
Conversions: Hannah Smith x 2
Forward of the Match: Becky Parsons
Back of the Match: Tzara Marriott
Greyhounds Man of the Match: Becky Parsons