Cheltenham Tigers Women got back to winning ways against Henley Hawks on Saturday after a disappointing loss to Blackheath in the last round. They have now won 2 out of 3 and sit second in the Championship South League.
Tigers were the stronger of the starters on Saturday, with a period of possession seeing them go form width to width with some great team play. The Henley defence held strong and it took about 15 minutes to break the deadlock, but Lauren Williams broke a tackle to score under the posts, converted by Bee Mocellin.
Cheltenham continued to pile on the pressure with some strong runs from wing Maisie Jerrim-Wyse and number 8 Bryony Narbeth but again the Hawks defence was solid. It was then a penalty just past the 10 metre line that saw scrum half Laura Hale take one of her trademark quick taps that took the Henley defence by surprise and she managed to race to the line for an unconverted score.
The last 10 minutes of the half saw Henley throw everything at Cheltenham, who put in a valiant defensive effort, holding them up several times. However the pressure eventually took its toll and just before the half time whistle, Hawks managed to get outside the stretched Tigers defence to score, taking it to 12-7 at half time.
The second half started off strongly for the Tigers and after again absorbing a lot of pressure from Henley, Bryony Narbeth broke from the base of the scrum on our own 5 metre line to go the length of the pitch. She gave a perfectly timed pass to Sabene Trant who scored in the corner. Laura Hale shortly took her tally of the day to 2 tries, as she spotted space around the ruck and sniped her way through and beat the full back to score under the posts, converted by Bee Mocellin.
Henley managed to get one back after a pass was intercepted by a rushing Hawks defence. This took the score to 24-14. The Tigers were looking for a bonus point win at this stage and it come after 6 phases of continuous attack saw pretty much every Cheltenham player touch the ball before captain Jess Elbeck spotted a gap to score to secure the 5 points.
Henley again threatened to breach the Tigers line, but strong defence meant the game finished with a Cheltenham penalty that was dispatched into touch by Bee Mocellin and the game finished 29-14.