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Report: Bristol Bears Women 27-31 Exeter Chiefs Women

Heartbreak for the Bears as the Chiefs snatched the South West derby bragging rights in the final moments with a 27-31 victory at Shaftesbury Park. 

Jasmine Joyce put in a world-class display on Saturday afternoon crossing the chalk on three occasions, however it would be Garnet Mackinder’s late score that would prove to be the difference between the two sides

What happened?

The visitors started the brighter of the two teams and opened the scoring inside the first five minutes. Ill-discipline from the hosts allowed the Chiefs to advance into the twenty-two and see Van der Velden power over from short range. 

Bristol Bears were in need of a response and they managed to level the scoring five minutes later. The hosts recycled the ball through the hands to find Joyce in space on the left wing, and the speedster didn’t need a second invitation. Her turn of pace and quick feet saw her accelerate down the wing and draw the Bears level. 

Soon after, Joyce would have her second. She pounced on a loose ball and it was a flat-out foot race, which was only going to have one winner. The Welsh flyer pinned her ears back and hared down the wing to put her side in front. 

Next, it would be the Chiefs’ turn to deal a blow. Holland collected Cantorna’s neat crossfield kick and set the visitors on their way, before Ebony Jefferies hit a stunning line to scythe through the Bears defence and draw Chiefs level. 

Snowsill nudged the Bears ahead via a penalty goal and then the last score of the half would fall to Exeter as Delgado rumbled over off the back of a driving maul. Chiefs went into the sheds with their noses in front at 17-19. 

Following the resumption of the action both teams struggled to get a foothold in the game and apply scoreboard pressure. 

Then a moment came which could have potential swung the game. Joyce’s quick feet allowed her to beat three Chiefs defender until she was met by Garcia Rodriguez, who unintentional flipped Joyce over her shoulder and onto her head. The referee deemed it a dangerous tackle and the scrum-half was shown a red card. 

With a player advantage, the Bears needed to capitalise. Step up, Jaz Joyce. Kayleigh Powell’s arcing run created a half gap in the five metre channel for Joyce to glide down the touchline and beat the final defender and secure her second hat-trick of the season. 

With the game approaching the final ten minutes, Exeter would not go away. They  kept themselves in the game and would take the lead via hooker Emily Tuttosi, who crashed over from a driving maul. 

From the restart the lead would change hands yet again. Hollie Cunningham forced a penalty, which Snowsill duly converted to give the Bears a 27-26 lead with roughly seven minutes left to play. 

It would be heartbreak for the Bears as Garnet Mackinder finished a sweeping move in the corner and managed to ground the ball with the tips of her fingers to hand the Chiefs a 27-31 derby day victory. 


Teams & Scorers: 

Bristol Bears Women: 15. Kayleigh Powell, 14. Lily Stoeger-Goddard, 13. Phoebe Murray, 12. Lucie Skuse, 11. Jasmine Joyce, 10. Elinor Snowsill, 9. Lucy Burgess; 1. Simi Pam, 2. Alice Lockwood, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Natalia John, 5. Hollie Cunningham, 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Manon Johnes, 8. Siwan Lillicrap

Impact Players: 16. Megan Wynne, 18. Stef Evans, 19. Marlo Boyd, 20. Megan Barwick, 21. Serena Settembri, 22. Chelsea Jones, 23. Amy Coles

Scorers: Joyce 12’, 18’ 52’ (TRY), Snowsill 26’, 60’ (PEN) 12’, 18’ 52’ (CON)

Exeter Chiefs Women: 15. Merryn Doidge, 14. Lottie Holland, 13. Lauren Cattell, 12. Gabriella Cantorna, 11. Garnet Mackinder, 10. Taylor Black, 9. Patricia Garcia-Rodriguez; 1. Sachiko Kato, 2. Emily Tuttosi, 3. Lauren Delgado, 4. Poppy Leitch, 5. McKinley Hunt, 6. Ebony Jefferies, 7. Kate Zachary, 8. Linde Van der Velden

Replacements: 16. Daisy French, 17. Michaela Roberts, 18. Olivia De Merchant, 19. Rachel Merchant, 20. Abbie Fleming, 21. Florence Robinson, 22. Laura Sheehan, 23. Niamh Terry

Scorers: Van der Velden 6’ (TRY), Jefferies 20’ (TRY) , Delgado 32’ (TRY), Tuttosi 58’ (TRY), MacKinder 66’ (TRY),  Cantorna 6’, 20’, 58’


Key Moment: Garnet MacKinder

With the game in the balance and only a point separating the two teams in the final ten minutes, a score from either team would surely seal victory in a topsy turvy South West derby. 

The Chiefs spread the ball the width of the pitch into the hands of the winger, whose airborne finished allowed her to dot down in the corner and ensure Exeter snatched victory at the death. 


Player of the match: Jasmine Joyce

The winger had yet another afternoon to remember crossing for a stunning hat-trick at Shaftesbury Park. 

For all three scores she demonstrated an unbelievable turn of pace, which was combined with bamboozling footwork to devastating effect as she crossed for her second hat-trick of the season. 

Joyce now sits at the top of the Allianz Premier 15s try scoring charts with 11 scores so far this campaign. 

World-class.


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