Hampstead braves Baltic conditions to bag bonus point win
By Helen Willingham
The support was out in force in the sun to watch the Hampstead Ladies 1s in action
Despite the low temperatures, the support was out in force in the sun to watch the Hampstead Ladies 1s in action on home turf against the Romford Ravens.
Hampstead took the initiative from the off and a ball stolen by hooker and Forward of the Match, Mariama Connell, set up a series of support plays that saw number 8 Jen Richards cross the line to open Hampstead’s scoring.
Next to score was centre Nikki Fitzgerald, who battled her way through the centre field after some excellent supportive backline play off the back of a strong scrum.
Further strong handling and support play from both forwards and backs enabled Captain Faye Hamp to nip over for another try, swiftly followed by another just before half time by determined Vice Captain Helen Martin.
Following the break, signature quick thinking by scrum half Ruth Burns saw her come through a ruck which Romford had left unguarded, followed by an impressive 30 metre sprint which secured Hampstead another try, which was converted by Lydia Hartridge.
Hartridge went on to score a further two tries of her own as a result of her strong running, despite one of this nearly being scuppered as she tripped close to the line, but was fortunately able to recover.
Dynamic crashes by strong forward ball carriers, Hattie Clapp and Jen Richards and punchy runs in the centre field by Geraldine McGroaty, Anita Oliver and Back of the Match Rachel Berry, who came off her wing looking for work in the first half before moving to dictate the line at 10 in the second half, meant Hampstead were rarely on the back foot.
Final score a comfortable 37-0 to Hampstead which they take into a rest weekend before facing Chesham away on 11th March, followed by league toppers Hammersmith & Fulham at home in what will no doubt be a nail-biting finish to the league season on 18th March