Hitchin Ladies 83-7 Haringey: 'Invincible' Hedgehogs secure unbeaten season in style
PUBLISHED: 22:00 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 22:00 25 March 2019
Hitchin Ladies First XV smashed Haringey Ladies 83-7 at Hitchin Rugby Club on Sunday afternoon as they wrapped up the Women's NC South-East North 2 division title and finished the season unbeaten.
The Hedgehogs needed a win to complete their unbeaten campaign, and they made the perfect start when Cara Wäckerlin-Lavelle and Lauren Bellinger scored early to make it 10-0.
Haringey scored their only points when they capitalised on a defensive mistake from the home side to cross over and convert.
But, it was one-way traffic after that, with Sophie Tyler, Suzie Gajda-Hilton and Claire Crompton all scoring before half-time to make it 22-7 at the break.
Flo Otegen extend the lead after the interval, followed by three more tries from Tyler, another from Bellinger and Gajda-Hilton, as well as captain Emma Cramphorn and Sarah Bennett also scoring.
Brilliant kicking from Gajda-Hilton saw her make seven conversions to give the home side their biggest win of an impressive season.
After a nervy start to the game, Hitchin scored the opening try as Wäckerlin-Lavelle’s powerful run split the Haringey defence before she crossed over.
Bellinger quickly made it 10-0 not long after to set the Hedgehogs on their way to finishing the season unbeaten.
However, it appeared that the visitors might not have read the script when they got themselves back in the game.
A long kick down field wasn’t dealt with by the home side and Haringey broke through to score, also kicking the conversion to shorten the margin to 10-7.
Any final day nerves were put to bed though when the Hedgehogs responded in superb fashion as Tyler raced away to score and make it 15-7.
Determined to complete their unbeaten season, Hitchin were proving too powerful for their opponents. Gajda-Hilton crossed under the post before kicking the conversion to make it 22-7.
Crompton - who started the season on the sideline after a knee operation - was next to score before Gajda-Hilton kicked her second conversion of the afternoon for 29-7, the last action of the half.
The one-way traffic continued after the break, with Otegen crossing over just minutes into the second-half and Gajda-Hilton kicking her third successive conversion to make it 36-7.
Quick thinking at a scrum from skipper Cramphorn saw her score the next try, with Gajda-Hilton once again kicking successfully for 43-7 as the Hedgehogs began to run away with the game.
It was now cruise control for Hitchin. Tyler showed her pace again to get her second of the day, with Gajda-Hilton again converting for 50-7.
It was clear to see why the home side had not been beaten all season as they strolled through Haringey at ease. This time it was Bellinger getting her second try to make it 55-7.
Tyler then got her third and Bennett scored minutes later for 69-7 after Gajda-Hilton continued her impressive kicking putting both conversions between the posts.
The powerful forward then got her second try and again kicked between the posts to make it 76-7 in a brilliant performance.
It was now turning into cricket score as Tyler got her fourth try – her ninth in two games – and Gajda-Hilton kicked another conversion for 83-7 to provide the perfect end to a perfect season.
Back Casey Burgess was delighted to finish the season unbeaten, telling CometSport: “All our hard work over the past few years has really come together this season.
“Everyone plays their part and we’ve just played some fantastic rugby this season.
“We were the way we have been all season today and we got the job done on a high.”