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HAMPSHIRE GIRLS matches v BERKSHIRE 29-10-17
MATCH REPORTS by Richard V Isaacs

Hampshire’s highly impressive Girls teams recorded comprehensive victories over their Berkshire counterparts at the Army Rugby Stadium in Aldershot on Sunday, scoring a total of 17 tries across the two games.

The Under 15s Girls team were outstanding in their 48-15 win while the Under 18s Girls proved too strong for their opponents, scoring nine tries in a 51-17 success on a bright but chilly afternoon in north Hampshire.

It didn’t look like it would be quite as plain sailing as it proved as Berkshire gave as good as they got in the first half of the Under 15s game, scoring tries either side of Ellingham & Ringwood centre Olivia Horton’s first try after seven minutes.

Horton added a second shortly afterwards and Mountbatten School winger Darcie Gray crossed to give the hosts a 17-10 advantage but Berkshire hit back once again with a well worked score wide out.

However, a converted try on the stroke of half-time from Trojans centre Eliza Manning stretched the interval advantage to 24-15 and it was all Hampshire after that.

The superb Horton completed her hat-trick almost immediately from the restart before Havant second row Beth Matthews piled over from close range for Hampshire’s sixth try of the afternoon.

Ellingham & Ringwood back-row Charlotte Green and Manning with her second try completed the scoring while the excellent E&R fly-half Alex Avoth, who controlled the game superbly and showed plenty of class, kicked four conversions of the eight tries in the comfortable victory.

And it was a similar story for the Under 18s Girls, who were pegged back early on by Berkshire only to rampage their way to over 50 points.

Scrum-half Amy Layzell of Basingstoke opened the scoring for the home side before Berkshire responded in kind quickly afterwards.

But a beautifully weighted chip ahead from Layzell allowed club-mate Sophie Jarrett to race to the line and immediately saw Trojans’ Bethany Wilcock get on the end of a kick and chase to score; both were nicely converted by Peter Symonds College fly-half Amber Sallows.

Berkshire tried to come back hard into the game but Hampshire soaked up all the pressure and another Basingstoke product, skipper Phoebe Moulson, crossed to give her side a 24-5 half-time lead.

Two players doubled their tallies early in the second half when Wilcock and Jarrett added their second tries to the imposing tally and, to add insult to injury, were awarded a penalty try when Trojans’ Rose Brown was taken out with a high tackle as she raced to the corner.

The visitors did strike twice later on to give their scoresheet something to smile about but not before the impressive Jarrett completed her hat-trick from a scrum five and Basingstoke’s Lara Foster took advantage of Brown’s break to add the ninth and final score.

Both sides should be hugely proud of their performances as they showed that Girls rugby in Hampshire is very strong indeed to post nearly 100 points and 17 tries in total.

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