On a better than expected winter afternoon, two reduced strength teams participated in an enjoyable game of rugby, watched by an enthusiastic crowd.
In an error strewn first half where neither side handled the slippery ball as well as normal, defence won out with neither side looking particularly threatening.
LHO broke the deadlock after 16 minutes when a period of sustained pressure in the Newark half finally created a gap in the defence for stand-off Hannah West to burst through and open the scoring. The conversion was unsuccessful but gave LHO a 5-0 lead. For most of the rest of the half when either side attacked, their opponents dealt with the threat easily. Just before half time LHO took a 22 drop out, straight to the Newark No10 who ran it back up the left wing, outpacing the LHO tacklers and ran it in under the posts to equalise. She also converted her try to give Newark a 7-5 lead at the break.
LHO came out in the second half livelier and within a minute of the restart Ella Herbert, at centre, broke through to restore LHO’s lead.
Continued pressure should have led to a further try 4 minutes later but Newark infringed deep in the red zone giving LHO a penalty 5m out. Captain Gina Watson took the tap and drove over for the third try, converted by Hannah West to make the score 17-7. Two minutes later LHO increased the lead again – further pressure took LHO into Newark’s 22 and Jasmine Eames didn’t intend to be stopped as she powerfully broke tackles on her way to scoring.
LHO then seemed to take their foot off the gas, and allowed Newark to come back at them, and midway through the half Newark found a gap in the LHO back line and ran in their second try of the game, duly converted to make the score 22-14.
LHO came back quickly and 4 minutes later increased their lead again following another strong run from Eames. West converted to give a 29-14 scoreline.
With 15 minutes to go LHO were looking to build a big score but Newark were determined to hold out and a succession of mistakes kept the score the same until the final couple of minutes when No8 Tia Rich finally got herself a well deserved try, breaking from the base of a scrum. This left the final score at 34-14.
Team : Gina Watson, Jasmine Eames, Rose Smith, Lucy Gardner, Isabelle Drexler, Tia Rich, Eleanor Wilkinson, Hannah West, Caitlin Haresign, Cassie Holyoak, Ella Herbert, Jordan Snow.