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Report: Bristol Bears Women 18-14 Loughborough Lightning

Bristol Bears Women fight back to claim a dramatic 18-14 victory over Loughborough Lightning at Shaftesbury Park on Saturday evening.

What Happened?

Lightning started the the brighter of the two sides and they went ahead on the ten minute mark, Katy Daley-McLean showed some fine footwork to dance through a gap in the Bears Women defence and crash over the chalk, before converting her own score. 

Bristol Bears Women looked for a response and began to apply some pressure of their own, the hosts worked their way into the twenty-two and their hard work was rewarded with a penalty, which Lucy Attwood duly converted to bring the hosts within four. 

The hosts took then took the lead after Mackenzie Carson made a bulldozing run - which started on halfway and ended up within five of the Loughborough line - the ball was the quickly recycled and Lucy Attwood crossed in the corner. 

However, with the clock in the red, Loughborough reclaimed the lead as they kept the ball tight and powered their way over the ten through Mags Lowish.

Lucy Atwood scored eight first half points for the Bears (via JMPUK).

The next score came midway through the second half as Bristol Bears Women set up a driving line-out only five metres from the Lightning whitewash, and the hosts showed great patience as Clara Nielson eventually burrowed her way over the line to bring the Bears within one point. 

As the game entered the final ten minutes the Bears crossed the line in dramatic fashion as Elinor Snowsill’s mazing run bought her metres shy of the line, she then showed great awareness to offload to Poppy Leitch to cross the whitewash.

Lightning flexed there muscles as the game entered the latter stages, but Bristol Bears Women showed phenomenal heart and desire to keep the visitors at bay and see out the game for a memorable win. 

Key Moment: 

With the Bears trailing by one point as they entered the final minutes of the game, they needed a moment of magic from Elinor Snowsill to put Poppy Leitch over the chalk. 

The Welsh half-back receive the ball on edge of the twenty-two and she embarked on a mazing run that took her metres shy of the line.

She then showed the presence of mind to offload to the supporting Poppy Leitch, who deserved nothing less than to get a try of her own.

Player of the Match: 

Any one of the Bristol Bears Women squad could have easily taken this afternoon’s accolade as Player of the Match, but Gabby Senft is the recipient this week.

Making her first Tyrrell’s Premier 15s start, the Canadian had an all-round superb game in the Bristol Bears Women jersey. 

She was defensively very solid, coming up with big tackles when needed as well as giving the hosts front-foot ball when running with the ball in hand. 

Photo of the match:

Mackenzie Carson breaks the Lightning defence to set up the Bears' first try (via JMPUK).