Impressive Falcons turn tables on Horsham
Amy Smyth leads another flowing Falcons attack with Rachael Gold , Sophie Lee Perkins and Beki Hardman in support. PICTURE: JULIAN FROST
Farnham Falcons 39pts, Horsham Ladies 0pts
FARNHAM Falcons entertained Horsham after narrowly losing the first game between the two sides by just two points in December.
Two games later and the improvement in this young squad is massive – as evidenced in this lopsided 39-0 win.
The Falcons received the kick-off and drove into the Horsham half where they were determined to play their rugby for almost the entire game. The set scrum, spearheaded by the front row of Jacinta Bethel, Harri Donaldson and Steph Thompson, set the platform for the much of this dominance, including the first try.
With Horsham on the back foot, scrum half Rachael Gold sniped for the line. Held, she offloaded to Sophia Spencer who shipped the ball on to Thompson to power over for the unconverted try.
This was the start Falcons coaches Jenni Balmer, Jacko Jackson and Aaron Webb had hoped for and confidence flowed throughout the team.
The ball flowed just as smoothly from hand to hand as the Falcons pressed forward. Smart interplay between winger Naomi Pitman and flanker Becky Phillips released speedster Hannah Hasim, who stepped beyond Horsham’s cover defence to score under the posts. The extras were supplied by birthday girl Amy Smyth and the lead was 12-0.
The next try illustrated another dimension to the Falcons game as Horsham were driven back from the ruck. With Laura Johnson and Beki Hardman leading the charge, space opened up for 17-year-old Iona Baxter who dotted down for Farnham’s third try on the stroke of half time. Smyth slotted the extras for a 19-0 half-time lead.
The half-time chat set the girls two objectives: don’t let Horsham score, and score as many as you can.
At the restart, centre Octavia Andersen rose to the challenge by tackling the Horsham receiver and, with Bethel, turned the ball over. A quick offload to Hardman saw her release Hasim for her second.
Hasim’s hat-trick was the result of solid forward play and ball retention over multiple phases. Off the bench, Vicky Nye and Karen Webb provided the driving force that sucked in the Horsham defence and opened the space for Hasim.
To their credit, Horsham didn’t lie down and upped the aggression and determination in the last 20 minutes. A series of turnovers put the Falcons under pressure, but the fresh legs of Charlotte Hewson drove the Horsham attack into touch, allowing the Falcons to catch their breath and reset.
And they duly scored two further tries. No8 Sophie Lee Perkins put in some masterful side steps and a massive hand off to go over and flanker Abbi Jackson burst free from a maul near the Horsham line to score.
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