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Gloucester-Hartpury sweep aside challenge of DMP Sharks in 64-0 win

3 December 2018

Duncan Wood

Gloucester-Hartpury Women got back to winning ways in the Tyrrells Premier 15s on Saturday with an emphatic 64-0 victory over Darlington Mowden Park Sharks.

The 12 try display was based on a powerful platform up front, with skipper Zoe Aldcroft marking her return from England duty with a three try performance. Kelly Smith also scored a hat-trick and Millie Wood a brace.

The victory moves Gloucester-Hartpury up to fifth place in the table, one point behind Wasps Ladies, ahead of this weekend’s local derby at home to Bristol Bears.

Susie Appleby’s side got off to a dream start on four minutes when Kelly Smith, also returning from a fine Autumn international series with England, went over on the left wing after some nice hands across the backs.

Aldcroft muscled her way over from close range five minutes later. Before Shona Powell-Hughes touched down following a five metre scrum. When Shauna Bennett cut a great angle to slice through from the 22 and dot down near the posts, the try-scoring bonus point was in the bag after just 24 minutes.

The Welsh international duo of Powell-Hughes and Dyddgu Hywel then set up the position from which Aldcroft crashed over for her second, before Millie Wood scythed her way through for a fine solo score from 40 metres out. Aldcroft then completed her hat-trick for a 39-0 lead at half-time.

Wood opened the second half with her second following a powerful break from Aldcroft, and Ellie Underwood was next to cross, stepping inside the final defender after Shauna Bennett’s pass gave her room to run.

A quick tap from Taz Bricknell resulted in Kelly Smith going over unopposed for her second, and Bennett’s break led to Sarah Nicholas diving over. Smith then showed her pace and power to complete the scoring and an outing which pleased Head Coach Susie Appleby.

“I’m really happy with the improvements we made yesterday, we wanted to be accurate and clinical in our attack and we largely were.

“Zoe Aldcroft led from the front, she was imperious, and Kelly Smith ruthless in her finishing ability; both brought back their England form to club which will please their England coaches.

“DMP are a good side, but we never let them into the game. When they did get a chance to attack we were really aggressive, forcing errors, again a really pleasing aspect. We now need a good training week, there’s no point performing well yesterday if we can’t repeat that performance next Saturday against Bristol.

“Our development side also put in an excellent performance; selection this week is going to be really tough!”

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Lineups Summary
Gloucester-Hartpury Women:
  1. Dyddgu Hywel; 14. Sophie Tandy, 13. Millie Wood, 12. Shauna Bennett, 11. Kelly Smith; 10. Ceri Large (vice captain), 9. Taz Bricknell; 1. Sasha Acheson, 2. Connie Powell, 3. Katie Dougan; 4. Emily Underwood, 5. Zoe Aldcroft (capt); 6. Sian Williams, 7. Tabs Copson, 8. Shona Powell-Hughes
  1. Abi Castle, 17. Ellie Gilbert, 18. Shya Pinnock, 19. Charlotte Faux, 20. Sarah Nicholas, 21. Mary-Ann Gittings, 22. Ellie Underwood

Home Team Scorers

TRIES: Smith (3), Aldcroft (3), Powell-Hughes, Bennett, Wood (2), Underwood, Nicholas CONVERSIONS: Large (2)

Away Team Scorers