Skipper Meg Mason wins 100th cap as Newbury take plenty of positives from battling defeat to Henley
Both of Newbury’s women’s teams returned from the winter break on an action-packed Sunday at Monks Lane.
There were plenty of positives for the first team despite a 27-7 defeat against Henley.
The hosts lost the reverse fixture 48-0 and as such Sunday was a sign of how far Newbury have come as the side look to stave off relegation from the Women’s Championship South 1.
There was nothing to separate the two sides for the first 25 minutes as defences dominated and the game remained deadlocked.
Blues were looking threatening in attack with some considered passages of play and sharp handling in difficult conditions. Meanwhile, Becks Reeves and skipper Meg Mason, who was winning her 100th cap, were stifling Henley’s threat.
However, the visitors hit their stride and exploited space to run in three tries in 15 minutes to take a healthy lead into the break.
Henley extended their advantage with a fourth score after the restart but Newbury stuck to their task and were rewarded with a well-worked try of their own.
A typically strong scrum allowed Meg Carter to crash through the gain line and put Henley’s defence on the back foot. Following prolonged and patient pressure, Meg Horwood found a gap to get the home side on the scoreboard.
High-flying Henley made sure of the result with a fifth try but a strong showing from Newbury ensures they’ll travel to Sutton & Epsom full of confidence this weekend.
Meanwhile, the second XV continued their fine form with a dominant victory over Basingstoke.
Leah Bertram scored Newbury’s first try before speedster Maisie Litchfield stole over to extend her side’s lead.
A strong carry from Sarah Coleman started a fluent attack as fly half Maisie Litchfield spread the ball through the hands of the backs for Jenny Buckley to score a well-deserved try.
There was still time for another score as Leah Bertram found Lizzie Harris in space and Harris crossed to complete an excellent afternoon for the second XV, who have a week’s break before a trip to Staines on January 21.