Disappointing start for Devon's women away at Gloucestershire
DEVON made a disappointing start to their Gill Burns Women’s County Championship campaign when they were beaten 66-10 by a strong Gloucestershire side at North Bristol last Sunday.
Devon had beaten Gloucestershire in the last two county campaigns and hoped to continue their winning streak. However, Gloucestershire this season boasted an impressive squad selection, including eight players from clubs in the Tyrell’s Premier 15s leagues.
In the first 10 minutes following kick-off, Devon kept Gloucestershire at bay, but in the 11th minute Gloucestershire centre Vicky Foxwell (Worcester Valkyries) crossed the line for a try, which she also converted.
This was then followed a few minutes later by tries from Gloucestershire’s hooker Sophie Johnson (Tewkesbury) and prop Simi Pam (Bristol Bears), which were both again converted by Foxwell.
It was npt until the 30th minute that Gloucestershire scored again, with full-back Emma Mundy (Cheltenham Tigers) went over under the posts for an easy Foxwell conversion.
Shortly afterwards second-row Daisy French (Worcester Valkyries) broke through the defence for an unconverted try.
In the final minutes of the first half a penalty against Gloucestershire allowed Devon’s number 15, Charlotte Green (Cullompton), to put in an impressive kick to touch, resulting in a five-metre line-out. A catch-and-drive from set-play allowed Devon prop Georgia Bartlett (Cullompton) to push over the line, giving the away team their first points of the game. The half finished with Devon trailing 33-5.
In the second half Devon kept the stronger Gloucestershire side in check for 10 minutes, but two successive tries within five minutes from Bristol Bear’s Pam, both converted by Foxwell pushed up the score line to 47-5.
Shortly afterwards a high tackle by Gloucestershire’s number eight, Rownita Marston (Bristol Bears), led to a yellow card and a penalty, which allowed Devon to move the ball up the field. A series of well-executed phases saw the ball move to Devon’s Annie Jones (Totnes), who dived for the line, but was held short. However, quick thinking from fly-half Ann Webb (Topsham) saw her pick up from the base of the ruck and dive over the line, giving Devon a further five points.
In the last 10 minutes of the game Gloucestershire returned with vengeance, scoring a further four tries from Pam, Chloe-May Barton (Worcester Valkyries) and Jade Gamlin (St Mary’s Old Boys), with one converted by Foxwell.
Devon next face Berkshire on May 12 at Crediton RFC at 2:30pm