The Swans first fixture of the new season saw them pitted against the team they finished last season’s campaign so disappointedly against. They were therefore keen to redress the balance and also get the new season off with a confidence boosting win.
The home side started the game on the front foot. With only five minutes on the clock Lakenham Hewett, having travelled from Norwich and possibly still recovering from the journey, found themselves five points adrift after some concerted pressure was finished off when right wing Emma Taylor touched down in the right hand corner.
The following 10 minutes took a more settled pattern and despite Buckingham having the lion’s share of the possession, the opposition defence held firm until a breakaway by open-side flanker Kirsty Haig created an overlap. Haig was ably supported by second row Nicola Lepper, who timed her pass perfectly to enable left wing Sam Cleaver to go over for what was to be the first of three tries.
The opposition failed to provide much of a threat on the attack and it wasn’t too long before further scores were added, firstly by Swans debutant, Hannah Yirrell who chased on a hack forward by Cleaver to record her first points for her new club. Next on the score sheet was Holly Malins, who was instrumental in much of the Swans attacking play, and then Cleaver recorded her second of the afternoon to assure the home side of a bonus point. Captain Katie Clark added the extras to the latter two tries to give a very respectable half time score of 29 – 0.
Buckingham sat back a bit for the first ten minutes of the second half and although their defence was tight during this period, they did afford the visitors rather more possession than had been conceded during the previous 40 minutes.
The home crowd didn’t have to wait too long though before the scoreboard started ticking upwards. Malins went over for her second of the game, and after some quality rucking by the forwards, who were dominant throughout, replacement prop Kirsty Kay scored the seventh Swans try (converted by Clark), quickly followed by scrum-half Bec Bray touching down.
A rare foray into the Buckingham 22 then followed, which resulted in a consolation try for the by the away side.
The Swans were determined to have the last say though with Cleaver out sprinting the Lakenham defence to crown a great performance and bag a hat-trick.
Although it was difficult to single people out following an excellent team performance, forward of the match was awarded to Kirsty Haig and back to outside centre Hannah Yirrell.