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Higgins scores four as Devon Ladies overcome England Deaf Rugby

26 Mar 2017 19:49 | Sara Raine

CENTRE Megan Higgins scored four tries as Devon Ladies overcame a spirited England Deaf Rugby women’s team 48-5 at Newton Abbot on Sunday afternoon.

Higgins’ fellow Plymouth Albion back Lilly Goddard also went over the whitewash twice, with Cullompton lock Amy Alford and Plymstock Albion Oaks winger Motunrayo Osuntokun scoring Devon’s other tries in the friendly fixture.

England Deaf Rugby showed plenty of physicality but struggled to handle the pace of Devon’s backs. However, the visitors were rewarded late on with a try by lock Emma Small.

Devon, using the match to warm-up for their County Championship campaign, took just four minutes to get their first score in front of a decent sized crowd at Rackerhayes. It came from lock Alford, who forced her way over from close range.

Nine minutes later Higgins got the first of her four tries, which Cullompton’s Charlotte Green converted.

By 20 minutes, Devon were 17-0 up thanks to a touch-down by speedy winger Osuntokun, who unfortunately picked up an injury not long later that ended her afternoon.

Five minutes later, fellow winger Goddard crossed on the left. She then made a try-saving tackle at the other end of the field before Higgins crossed for Devon’s fifth try on 34 minutes, which Green converted.

That looked like it would be the half-time score, but with the last play of the first period Goddard burst down the left wing to score again to put Devon 36-0 up at the interval.

The second half was a scrappy affair, with both teams making changes and a number of injuries preventing any flow.

But Higgins managed to score two more tries – one of 53 minutes and another on 63 minutes to put Devon 48-0 up.

The last word, however, went to England Deaf with the powerful Small forcing herself over the whitewash from close range.

Devon: Lauren Mueller (Topsham), Lilly Goddard (Plymouth Albion/Marjons), Megan Higgins (Plymouth Albion), Caitlin Short (Plymouth Albion), Motunrayo Osuntokun (Plymstock Albion Oaks/Plymouth University), Charlotte Green (Cullompton), Charley Wright (Cullompton), Donna Downes (Plymouth Albion), Claire Knighton (Cullompton), Isabelle Jackson (Plymouth Albion/Plymouth University), Matilda Fergurson (Oakmedians/Plymouth University), Amy Alford (Cullompton), Gemma Parish (Cullompton), Helena Radcliffe (Plymouth Albion/Marjons), Corinne Walsh (Topsham). Reps: India Chambers (Withycombe), Elena Wallis (Newton Abbot), Bryony Tyler (Plymouth Albion/Marjons), Claire Vickery (Cullompton), Natasha Currie (Topsham), Liz Lennox (Cullompton), Dawn Latham-Mahoney (Topsham), Joanna Bucknall (Topsham), Kelly Browring (Withycombe), Jennie Moss (Paignton), Jess Veacock (Teignmouth).

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