Chelmsford Bluebirds 7-12 H&D Owls
Wood's try gets The Owls back to winning ways!
After suffering their first league loss of the season last week at the hands of fellow title contenders Bury Foxes, The Owls made the short trip down the A12 to Essex neighbours Chelmsford to reignite their title aspirations.
Chelmsford started the game on the front foot and had The Owls pinned down in their own half, the strong wind made handling difficult and time after time passes went astray or were dropped at crucial times.
Harwich had the majority of possession and their scrum was as dominant as always but the handling errors kept coming, frustration and ill discipline led to a penalty for Chelmsford which Harwich failed to defend and saw them fall behind after a good pass to allow a break between defenders for Chelmsford to touch down under the posts, with the conversion made and a 7-0 score The Owls found themselves trailing at half time for the second week in a row.
The second half started pretty much the same as the first half with The Owls bossing possession but still forcing passes which resulted in turn overs and more frustration.
With time running down a series of substitutions by The Owls saw an influx of new life and vigour and it certainly upped the intensity.
The Owls now had the advantage of the strong wind and Chelmsford found themselves trapped inside their 22m line and with the constant onslaught they conceded a penalty which Mimi Montgomery took quickly, having beaten two defenders she offloaded in the tackle to Mim Pearson to score under the posts, Sophia Tricker made the conversion to tie up the game at 7-7.
Just when it looked like the game was heading for a draw prop Di Wood picked the ball up 15m out and decided enough was enough and to take route 1, she blasted her way through two would be tacklers leaving a trail of bodies in her wake to score a her second try of the season.
The conversion was missed but The Owls led for the first time in the game 12-7.
That was the last scoring action and in a really hard, attritional game Harwich showed great character to grind out the win and see them go back to the top of the league.
With one game left each to play for The Owls and Bury, this season is set up to go to the wire to decide the league title.
Harwich finish the campaign with a must win home game against Woodbridge on 25th March.
Report by Tim Flatt