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Ladies 1st XV - Match centre

Heathfield & W Ladies
Seaford Ladies
Sun 2 Dec 14:00 - RFUW Championship - Women's NC South East 2 Full time

All round performance overcomes Seaford forward strength


Just one conversion makes the difference

Heathfield 12 Seaford 10
Heathfield Ladies just edged past a dogged Seaford side who played to their undoubted strength in the pack, although the result only came from the difference in conversions with two tries apiece.
Occasional rain and a breeze did not give either side any advantage on a decent but tacky pitch. Heathfield played down the slight slope in the first half but almost all of the game was in the home 22 as the visiting forwards gradually applied pressure.
The Seaford pack had a clear edge initially and this helped them to secure good field position. However a feature throughout the game was the aggressive and effective Heathfield defence in which skipper Becky Taylor was quite outstanding with a huge work rate and tackle count. The game was probably decided in this period as Heathfield hardly emerged from their own 22 for most of the half. Seaford did carry the ball over the home try line on at least one occasion but somehow green hands prevented a score.
However a decisive moment came as yet another Seaford forwards attack ended with a scrum from which they were then penalised with a free kick which Karla Monson quickly tapped and went with the ball swiftly moved to Emily Sowell still within her own 22. A couple of steps later and some decent pace saw Sowell under the posts at the other end, duly converted by Georgia Reed-Davies (7-0). Reed-Davies was having only her second game of adult rugby and again impressed, especially with some hard work in defence.
Seaford will have been handicapped by the loss through injury to their fly-half during the first half and this will have been amplified by their scrum half having to retire after the second half restart when she took a knock to the head while going for the ball.
Seaford now managed to work their way into the home half, at least partially through unnecessary home penalties and their forward power earned its due reward with a try, albeit too wide out for the conversion attempt.
The pattern of the game continued with Heathfield always looking dangerous ball in hand and eventually this paid off as good hands between Ellie Duley and Sowell allowed Abi Tappenden to dive over in a heap of bodies for the decisive score (12-5).
Saskia Sullivan had to retire with a back injury which might have appeared to reduce the home physical presence but Molly Powderly filled the gap very adequately.
Seaford continued to play to their strength and finally forced their way over in the dying minutes but the conversion proved too difficult and Heathfield were able to play out the last couple of minutes securely to collect a hard-earned victory.
Afterwards the coaches were united in praise for the whole pack in particular whose defensive work laid the foundations for the result. As well as skipper Taylor who was simply magnificent, Becky Eyres was also singled for her work in defence. Sophia Skinner had a good days work in the backs, especially for someone who is normally regarded as a forward while Tappenden was the forward of the day with her first try, a reward for determination and persistance.
One of the keys for the win was the determination to keep the ball moving through the hands from almost any position and this is a team who will continue to collect decent results and admirers with this style of play.
The relevant league table is a thing of wonder of which Messrs Duckworth-Lewis would have been proud. Seaford apparently remain ahead of Heathfield, for reasons which escape me, in spite of Seaford now having lost twice to Heathfield’s once.
Next week Heathfield will entertain Hove Ladies II (8 Dec 14.00)
Thanks to Jason Scott-Taggart for the photographs.

Videos and photos

Seaford Ladies Dec 18
6 photos
Seaford Ladies Dec 18

Team selection

Sowell, Emily Sowell, Emily
Chapman, Hannah Chapman, Hannah
Duley, Ellie Duley, Ellie
Skinner, Sophia Skinner, Sophia
Charter, Nicky Charter, Nicky
Hutchison, Georgia Hutchison, Georgia
Monson, Carla Monson, Carla
Taylor, Becky Taylor, Becky
Statham, Katie Statham, Katie
Reed-Davies, Georgia Reed-Davies, Georgia
Young, Alex Young, Alex
Lovick, Amber Lovick, Amber
Sullivan, Saskia Sullivan, Saskia
Tappenden, Abi Tappenden, Abi
Harris, Carly Harris, Carly

League round up

Other Women's NC South East 2 results

Blackheath Ladies II
Cranbrook Ladies
Lordswood Valkyries Ladies


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Heathfield & W Ladies 11 33
2. Cranbrook Ladies 12 28
3. Lewes Ladies II 13 28
4. Hove Ladies II 10 20
5. Seaford Ladies 10 18
6. Blackheath Ladies II 10 17
7. New Ash Green Ladies 9 14

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