Hitchin Ladies 12-0 Stockwood Park: Hedgehogs tough it out to top table

PUBLISHED: 21:17 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 21:17 17 September 2018

Hitchin Ladies First XV v Stockwood Park. Picture: Dan Mountney

Hitchin Ladies First XV v Stockwood Park. Picture: Dan Mountney

Archant

Hitchin Ladies First XV made it two consecutive wins and climbed to the top the league after a battling 12-0 win over Stockwood Park on Sunday afternoon.

Hitchin Ladies First XV v Stockwood Park. Picture: Dan MountneyHitchin Ladies First XV v Stockwood Park. Picture: Dan Mountney

After last Sunday’s 55-5 thrashing of Hampstead, Hitchin were looking to continue their strong start to the new Women’s NC South-East North 3 season.

A scoreless first-half saw the Hedgehogs frustrated by some strong defending, but Suzie Gajda-Hilton and Nicky Cameron scored the all important tries after the break to wrap up the points.

Missing a host of players, including captain Emma Cramphorn, Hitchin were forced to deploy a number of players out of position while Casey Burgess stood in as skipper.

The opening stages of the game saw both sides battling for every yard in a tough, physical encounter under the late summer sunshine.

Hitchin Ladies First XV v Stockwood Park. Picture: Dan MountneyHitchin Ladies First XV v Stockwood Park. Picture: Dan Mountney

The away side looked the more likely to get the games opening points in a first-half of few chances, only to be continually stopped by resolute Stockwood defending.

Sarah Bennett had the standout opportunity when she was tackled just inches from the line early on.

The home side managed to hold firm against repeated Hitchin attacks though, frustrating the visitors time and time again to head into the break at 0-0, a far cry from last weekend’s resounding scoreline.

Persistence paid off for the Hedgehogs though, as Gajda-Hilton powered over the line just after the interval to give Hitchin a 5-0 lead.

Now in the ascendency, the away side made it 12-0, with Cameron finding a good line and showing quick feet to cross over, before Gajda-Hilton successfully kicked the conversion.

While Stockwood had defended admirably, Hitchin were equally as solid in the defence of their lead, camping in their opponents half and keeping them penned in.

The home side did manage to break clear right at the death and very nearly scored a consolation, but a superb cross-field sprint and last ditch tackle from Bennett saw the game finish 12-0, with Hitchin maintaining their 100 per cent start to the new season.

They now have a fortnight off to nurse any injuries before their next game, a tough cup tie at home to Harlequins Ladies III on Sunday, September 30.

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