In the glorious autumn sunshine, Civil Service ran in four tries to defeat Hardwicke & Quedgeley 15-26 in a hard-hitting game, securing their first league win of the season.
Catching H&Q off guard from a scrum early on, Service were the first to score with winger Georgie Keene dashing past the defence and towards the posts following a smooth pass out from fly-half Jacqs Haines six minutes in.
The Service pack certainly earnt their stripes as ill-discipline from both sides led to numerous tough scrums throughout the first half. Captain Elly Holliday ignited the pack during a much needed break in play and spurred on, Service were victorious in turning over a crucial maul, with flanker Amber Coxhill serving a final blow barrelling down on the whitewash after a hard series of pick-and-goes inches from the line.
Despite Service being in possession most of the half, a wave of attack soon ensued from H&Q. After a long slog of questionable tap-and-go penalties going against Service, the hosts were eventually rewarded through sheer brute force with their first try shortly before the halftime whistle.
The second half kicked off in similar style to the first. Off the back of yet another scrum, the backs were released into action with a darting line from Jacqs and simple swift pass from centre Lucy Burnett into the hands of Georgie who dodged into a gap to score her second try of the match.
H&Q started to fire into action and continued to threaten throughout the remainder of the game funnelling Service deep into the danger zone on multiple occasions. Hard-nosed tackles from Helen Stanton, Flora Hodges and Katie Lake kept H&Q in check for the majority, however a slip of hands and a mistake from Service led to H&Q capitalising on the loose ball only inches from the line, eventually pushing over to score.
Following the restart and a knock-on from H&Q, newly subbed fly-half Hannah Smith brilliantly sucked in the defence and gifted Georgie a sublime pass to dart up the wing to run in a personal hat trick of tries.
Making use of their physical pack and centres, H&Q had the last say and bounding through in the closing moments, pressed hard to go down over the line before the final whistle. The efforts were too little too late as full squad collaboration from Service secured the win, with an extended gap thanks to the boot of Amber Coxhill.
Special thanks to the many familiar faces in the crowd who made the trip away to cheer the team on and witness a hotly anticipated win! The Service Ladies now have a weekend break before meeting Banbury Ladies at home on Sunday 2ndDecember.
Forwards: Helen Stanton, Lucy Wood, Jess Yeates, Flora Hodges, Elly Holliday, Salome Ash, Amber Coxhill, Ashlyn Steyn, Katie Lake, Sarah Schachhuber Bond, Lauren Dransfield, Imogen Byrne
Backs: Ali Jones, Jacqs Haines, Hannah Smith, Tzara Marriott, Lucy Burnett, Cat Wallace, Lisa Lancett, Georgie Keene, Carmel Belcher, Vicky Giles
Try scorers: Amber Coxhill x 1, Georgie Keene x 3
Conversions: Amber Coxhill x 3
Forward of the Match: Helen Stanton
Back of the Match: Georgie Keene
Hardwicke & Quedgeley’s Wo(man) of the Match: Tzara Marriott