Big away win for Ladies at Hove
By Philip Bell
Tribute to David Rhodes before the game
Hove Ladies II 24 Heathfield Ladies 62
Heathfield Ladies continued their excellent league campaign with a remarkable win against Hove Ladies II on Sunday by ten tries to four.
As this was the first adult game since the announcement last Saturday of the tragic death of Heathfield’s Chairman David Rhodes, there was a minute’s silence before the game and the Heathfield players wore black arm bands.
With many regular players unavailable Heathfield travelled with just 13 and the game was played 12 aside. With just three backs it was necessary for some people to play out of position.
Hove’s strength lies in their forwards so the visitors generally tried to move the ball away from contact as quickly as possible. Indeed many of Heathfield’s tries came from good counter attacks after the defence had absorbed Hove forward pressure.
The first try came in just two minutes as Georgia Reed-Davies touched down for a try in her first proper game of rugby. Reed-Davies is the first ladies player to have emerged from Heathfield’s junior section and she only became eligible to play adult rugby last week. She went on to score two more tries and, remarkably, took on the kicking duties with aplomb to collect six conversions.
Heathfield generally had an edge throughout the game and tries came steadily interspersed with an occasional reply by Hove through their bigger forwards.
Other try scorers were Linde Brouwer (4), Amber Lovick (2) and one for Becky Farrant.
Since the regular Heathfield scrum half was absent, Katie Statham took on the role and was afterwards widely praised for her efforts.
Next week Heathfield, hopefully back to full strength, entertain Seaford Ladies (2 Dec 2.00). Both teams have lost just once in this league campaign so the outcome will have a big impact on the league table.