Two tight games to see out the year
U15 Girls win against Havant, lose against Trojans
Sundays a week before Christmas are clearly not the best days to organise rugby matches. A mixture of illness, injury and family duty meant that we had only 11 players for the end of the year games at Havant, with Trojans supplying additional opposition. With some players kindly loaned by Fawley, we managed to get 14 players together for the first game, against Havant.
As is Hove’s usual habit, the players were not really awake at kick-off and Havant broke through quickly, finishing with a scrum in a great attacking position and the fly-half went for a blindside try, thwarted by Vicky’s last-ditch tackle. Hove couldn’t really clear their lines however and it wasn’t long before Havant scored, despite an excellent tackle from Eve.
Hove put a bit of pressure on from the kick-off. Havant tried to run it clear but Hove won back the ball, a great break by Zoe was taken on by Eve who was tackled just inside the 22. Hove tried to spread it out wide but a poor pass was picked up by Havant who broke quickly, a superb tackle from Zoe saw the ball go loose to be picked up by the opposing fly half who sped down the wing to score under the posts – and it was duly converted. Hove looked to fight back and a penalty from Saige was chased hard by Vicky but Havant held on.
Despite trailing 12-0 at half-time, there was real belief from the Hove girls that they could win. And they set about proving very early: Hove won a penalty for a high tackle, Vicky took it quickly, beat two defenders for Hove’s first try.
As if to prove it was no fluke, Hove set up another attack straight after kick-off, when Rose picked and ran forward, it was taken on by Saige and offloaded to Zoe, who touched down for the second try. Hove were on fire now: straight from kick-off, Leonor gathered and ran straight through for Hove’s third try. Vicky missed all three conversions, hitting the post with this one, so Hove had to try maintain their lead.
Havant gave it a good go: a break down the right wing was stopped by a magnificent tackle from Zoe, running nearly the full width of the pitch to bring the Havant player down by the touchline.
Final score Hove 15 Havant 12
Hove were buzzing after winning the opening game and, against Trojans, carried on where they left off and soon mounted the first attack with a break from Beth. It came to nothing however and Trojans soon broke back to be stopped by some good tackles from Vicky and then from Mia, winning back the ball. From a scrum in front of the post, Saige picked up and ran over for the first try.
Trojans had a superb kick-off and Hove were scrambling to defend. A great tackle by Beth stopped the opponents in their tracks and when they knocked forward, Hove had a chance to get it clear. However, they lost the scrum and Trojans scored in the corner. From the kick-off, Trojans attacked again and only a crunching tackle by Leonor prevented the try. However, Hove lost the ball from the resulting line-out and a swift move led to another try, duly converted.
Hove went in at half-time trailing again but still were optimistic of getting back on terms. They broke forward quickly and Vicky’s deep kick ahead was chased down by Zoe, putting pressure on Trojans. They lost the ball and Eve’s run set up Saige, who was held up just short. There was no panic from Hove and a series of passes saw the ball fed to Rose, who crashed over near the touchline.
Trojans came back strongly and there was some good defending from Hove and one final break from Beth, which came to nothing.
Final Score Hove 10 Trojans 12
After the disappointment of last week, Hove rallied pulled themselves together and competed strongly. We had a makeshift pack, usual scrum-half Lana doing duty as hooker for a spell and Vicky moving from wing to flanker but the scrum generally held well.
All 11 Hove players could feel proud of their performance: the coaches’ award for player of the match went to Beth but there were any number who could have won it, it augurs well for next year.