Reading Abbey 5-12 Henley Hawks Women
Henley travelled just down the road to for their opening match of the season to newly promoted Reading Abbey. Nerves were racing high as this was the first time to two clubs had met and it was a greatly anticipated local derby.
The Hawks had all the possession early on were making good ground. They were attacking into the Abbey 22 and good defence from the home side forced the Hawks to spill the ball. Quick reactions form the Abbey centre saw her run the length of the pitch to score in the corner. The Hawks found themselves 5-0 down.
The restart saw similar play. The Hawks had all the ball but could not find a way through the strong Abbey defence. Mistakes from both sides saw some yo-yo rugby and the Hawks needed the half time whistle to go to re-group.
The start of the second half saw Henley change their game plan, they decided to keep it tight as they were winning the battle upfront. Inch by inch the Hawks fought their way up the pitch and all that was left was for Matthews to use her strength, pick and go and reach for the line. Hearn converted and the Hawks were is the lead 5-7.
With still 20 mins to go, neither side were giving up but it was the Hawks that found themselves with the majority of possession and with the new game plan working, they were building back up the park. The Hawks worked the ball down the blind side into the hands of young debutante, Sophie Hill to step the winger and the full back to secure the win for the Hawks. Final score 5-12 to the Hawks.
The Hawks host old rivals Trojans at Dry Leas on Sunday in a bid to secure the first home win.