Gill Burns County Championship Division 2 Pool 4

Match report by Richard V Isaacs

It was a defeat for Hampshire's Women in their opening Gill Burns County Championship home encounter with Buckinghamshire on Sunday, going down 24-19.

Playing on Havant's AGP surface, both sides tried to play some good, expansive rugby but a try with five minutes remaining was all that separated the sides.

The visitors were the quickest out of the blocks, scoring twice in the first 16 minutes to open up a 12-0 advantage and their domination continued as it took Hampshire until the 24th minute to finally break into their opponent's 22.

Once they got there, they were not disappointed.

Skipper Donna Rose was held up over the line from a tap penalty ten metres out and, from the subsequent scrum five, Harlequins' former Havant winger Sam King got the home side on the board when the ball was swung out wide.

And it was being held over the line that saw Hampshire go in to the interval on level terms when, again from a five metre scrum, Trojans' Rose collected off the back and ran in with clubmate Poppy Eady-Gosling adding the extras.

The scoreline remained level for a lengthy spell of the second half as both sides were struggling to keep hold of the ball to make inroads into the opponents territory.

But three tries in the last fifteen minutes set up a grandstand finish.

Buckinghamshire scored from close range before Southampton's Isobel Forty producing a delightful chip ahead which she just about collected herself and scooted under the posts to level the scores again when Eady-Gosling slotted the easy conversion.

Hampshire hearts were broken when the visitors came hard with five left on the clock when Chesham's Emma Leek went over to take the points.

It was a disappointing result for Hampshire, who now face two away trips to old foes Essex and Middlesex in the next fortnight to keep their hopes alive.

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