Chenery at the double as OEs romp to emphatic win
OEs women warmed up for their first ever season of league rugby with an emphatic victory over a spirited Basingstoke side at College Meadow.
Old Elthamians 61-0 Basingstoke
A mere seven months after playing their first fixture, the squad was buzzing to get back on the field and play their first pre-season game before the start of the league season on September 10th.
The squad has continued to grow during the close season. A number of close season signings got their first run out in OEs colours. Caroline Olwa, Miriam Taylor, Anna Wilson & Katie Dootson (all Aylesford/Harlequins), Helen Harris (Beckenham), Vicki Chenery (Brockleians) and Laura Cherry (University of Brighton) all made their club debuts and will be vying for starting positions.
After a nervy first five minutes from both teams, it wasn't long before OEs started to put some good phases together. A strong carry from centre Emily John created space out wide for winger Jess Fox who stepped back inside two players to go over for the first points.
With Basingstoke remaining committed in defence, OEs were kept at bay until the 20-minute mark, when Hungarian fly-half Csilla Feher, back from a summer of international sevens, cut through the middle to notch up a second score.
With the OEs forwards dominating the set piece and breakdown, fast ball was plentiful and sustained pressure let Amy Abellone breach the line. It proved to be a fruitful afternoon for the full-back as less than five minutes later she was in for her second.
With the half coming to a close and the game really opening up, Feher darted through for her second from long range. Two Vicki Benbow conversions gave OEs a 29-0 half-time lead.
OEs started the second half where they left off the first. In what seemed like her 10th linebreak, flanker Kelly Davies fed winger Beth Shaw out wide who showed great pace to sprint in from 30 metres.
Harris, who was pivotal in midfield, was next to turn provider as she split Basingstoke down the middle to put Bex Goodwin in for the try.
Despite OEs ringing the changes during the second period, there was no let-up intensity. A flowing move saw the ball reach Chenery on the wing and the newcomer showed a real turn of pace to go between two defenders for her debut try.
Having proved a real handful all afternoon, Davies was over the line next to keep up her impressive strike rate. As the game entered the last 15 minutes, there was time for two more OEs’ tries with captain Vicki Benbow finished a commanding afternoon with her maiden score for the club, and once again Chenery showing impressive finishing skills to add her second try and cap a fine debut.
Old Elthamians: Abellone, Fox, John, Harris, Shaw, Feher, Chenery, Black, Oakes, Olwa, Benbow, Mitten, Davies, Taylor, Nichols. Subs: Merryweather, Goodwin, Wilson, Dootson, Cherry.