A huge improvement by the Cats since the start of the season.
By Andrew Tanner
A strong performance from the Cats away at Westbury sees the hosts pushed hard to retain their unbeaten record.
Westbury Ladies 14 Chew Valley Cats 10
On 18th September 2016 Westbury Ladies came to Chew Valley and in only their second league game the Cats shipped 71 unanswered points. In the return match 3 months later at Westbury the hosts were grateful to escape with their unbeaten run intact.
Choosing to play down the slope in the first half the hosts might have anticipated blowing away the opposition early on. As it was a try on three minutes from Fiona Penfold, breaking free on halfway after a quickly taken penalty settled Cats nerves and a closely fought game ensued..
Winger Vicky Stanley had enough pace to get round the Cats defence for a score to put her side in front converted by fullback Lanni Plummer. The forwards went toe to toe in the close exchanges and there was little to choose between the sides until centre Jess Wells cut back inside on a line good enough to wrong foot the defence and score a try that she then converted. The Cats could have folded at that point but well organised defence close to the breakdown and out wide kept Westbury from any further scoring. Penfold added another before halftime and at the break it as all to play for.
The second half was scoreless and but for a high penalty count against them and some a tactical naivety, the Cats could have snatched the vital score for a win that would have been just reward for their efforts. Runnng the ball from tap penalties did not yield the desired results when a kick to the corner and working off the lineout (which was the advice from the touchline, ignored on several occasions) would have pressurised the home defence but those are lessons which will stand the group in good stead in the future and the whole squad deserves great credit for the enormous strides they have made since the first two games of the season and they need fear no one!