Hitchin Ladies produced stunning performance to hand Worcester a first loss
- Credit: HITCHIN RUGBY
Hitchin Ladies produced one of the performances of the season to hand top of the table Worcester their first loss of the year.
The Hedgehogs picked up a 24-22 success in the Women's Championship Midlands Two to move third in the table.
Worcester had won all 12 of their previous outings with a bonus point, including a 60-5 success over Hitchin in December, but they found the hosts this time in determined mood.
Worcester still scored first with a converted try but Hitchin soon hit back and after a switch of play and slick hands from the backs, Temi Akingbade went over in the corner.
And they got their noses in front by the break with a second try.
Intense defensive line speed pushed Worcester back into their own 22 for long periods and when they forced a turnover, they were able to send Chloe Hill in for the score.
The fast pace of the first half continued into the second, with both sides keen to get the upper hand.
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Worcester were the next to score after a breakaway try but Hitchin were undeterred though and Emily Bentley bagged their third try, with Mel Ruffell's conversion giving them a 17-12 lead.
She kicked another after strong carries up the pitch and a try for Lauren Bellinger brought the bonus point but Worcester came back strongly in the final 20 minutes.
But with valiant defence from Hitchin, they could only get within two points, missed conversions proving their undoing.
A tense final 10 minutes and sustained Worcester attacks were repelled by superb tackling and more strong defence forced an error and brought the final whistle and jubilant celebrations from the home side.