Guildford Gazelles 70, Drybrook Ladies 14 – Sunday 18th February 2018
On Sunday the Gazelles welcomed 4th placed Drybrook to Broadwater. It was a glorious day for rugby with a slight chill but bright sunshine giving the waiting crowd, over 100 of which had attended a sell-out pre match lunch, the hope of a high scoring game. Earlier in the season it has been a close affair with Drybrook taking the honours however their form had dipped of late with a loss of quite a few key players in their backs, in contrast to this the Gazelles were unbeaten since the return fixture in November and chasing the league title.
Both teams ran out to a demonstrably partisan Guard of Honour provided by GRFC Girls.
The game started at a furious pace with the Gazelles managing to move the ball quickly away from the breakdown and move Drybrook’s large pack around the park, after an infringement Guildford kicked to the corner and from the resulting line out skipper Vicky Boothman peeled of the back of the maul to score in the corner. Immediately from the kick off the Gazelles attacked from deep and after some forward phases a scything line from Harmony Driver cut the Drybrook back line in half, ably supported by her centre partner Lottie Brown Driver drew the fullback and Brown went under the posts for a converted score.
Although Drybrook were causing Guildford trouble at the scrum with a large well drilled pack the Gazelles managed to move the ball far too effectively for the makeshift Drybrook backline to defend and went on to score a further 4 tries leaving the score 34-0 at half time.
With Guildford in command changes were rung at the interval allowing good game time for the whole squad and it was a great testament that the attacking pressure didn’t drop with a further 6 tries being scored by the Gazelles. A particular highlight was the 80m interception from player of the match and second row Ruth Harper who unfortunately got caught in a sand trap 5m from the try line and had to offload to winger Hattie Roberts to take the glory.
To their testament Drybrook never threw in the towel and did score a couple of consolation tries leaving the final score 70-14.
On looking Harlequins Captain Dave Ward who had attended the pre match lunch mentioned that it was a “Very impressive attacking display from the ladies, the ability to move the ball and the interplay between backs and forwards was fantastic.”
The Gazelles would like to thank all who turned out for the lunch and cheered them on during the match.
Special thanks goes to the 14 girls from newly formed Guildford Girls who made up the Guard of Honour which helped the Gazelles make the strong start to the game.
With this victory the Gazelles moved to the top of the table and now look to win the league with only two games left.
In addition to playing for league honours, they are looking to defend their Surrey Cup trophy with the semi-final against Battersea at Broadwater on Friday 16th March under lights.
Zan Hudson 3
Lottie Brown 3
Gracie New 2
Debbie Haydon 2
Conversions: Kate Jenkins 2 Lottie Brown 2 Kayleigh Balchin