Gloucester-Hartpury 21 - 29 Loughborough Lightning | Report by Sophie Tandy
It was a game of two halves at the Alpas Arena as Loughborough took the spoils home.
At the beginning of the match we took a minute’s silence in remembrance of David Parsons, who sadly passed away over Christmas. He was a sponsor and a huge Gloucester-Hartpury fan, who will be thoroughly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
The first half of the game saw Gloucester-Hartpury in full control. With a very fast first try, coming within minutes of the kick off. Georgia Brock jumped to block a Loughborough Lightning kick, which was deflected and left in open play. Brock managed to gain possession and with a quick pass to Shya Pinnock saw Gloucester-Hartpury get the first points of the game. The extra points were added by Daisy Fahey. A quick reply from Loughborough Lightning, as they receive a penalty from a high tackle. They used their strong territory game putting themselves in our 22m. A good line-out, followed by some hard carries, put Lark Davies over the whitewash for Lighting's first try of the match. The conversion was good by Emily Scarratt.
Gloucester-Hartpury’s second try came from a great line-out in Loughborough’s 5m. A clean catch and drive, saw Gloucester-Hartpury force their way over the try line. The whistle was blown by Sarah Cox calling for a penalty try. Loughborough Lightning’s Second Row, Courtney Holtkamp was sent to the sin bin for her infringement.
Gloucester’s defence in the first half was outstanding, allowing Lightning little room for any movement. Whilst both teams had very strong attacking options.
As we began the second half, Natasha Hunt came off for Bianca Blackburn. Loughborough Lightening instantly gained a penalty, and found touch within the Gloucester-Hartpury 22. They were quick out of the line-out and even quicker to drive off the maul and saw Katie Trevarthen crash over the try line. The conversion was missed. Minutes later, Loughborough forwards were able to draw in the Gloucester girls, leaving space out wide, which saw Scottish International Rhona Lloyd dot over the line. Conversion missed. Gloucester-Hartpury struggled to find consistency and play became frantic. Lightning saw their opportunity and it was Lark Davies that scored their fourth try of the game, giving them to bonus point. After the water break, Loughborough’s momentum did not stop, seeing Courtney Holtkamp, see off 3 Gloucester players on her way to the try line. Conversion missed. After a game of kick tennis, Gloucester have the ball and it was Robyn Lock with a serious line break, putting us back into Loughborough’s half. As the game closed in some huge tackles came in from both sides. Having said that, no one could stop Bryonie King as she breaks through the defence, fending off anyone in her way. She was stopped inches away from the try line, where Bianca Blackburn quickly passes the ball out to Emma Sing to secure the last points of the game. Emma Sing was also successful with the conversion.
Gloucester-Hartpury fell just short of a victory at the Alpas Arena, but look forward to travelling up north next week where we will face Sale Sharks in round 11 of the Allianz Premier 15s.