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Report: Loughborough Lightning 42-14 Bristol Bears Women

Bears Women fell to defeat at the hands of Loughborough Lightning on their return to Allianz Premier 15s action.

What happened?

The visitors got off to a dream start as Jasmine Joyce flew down the left wing to touch down inside the first three minutes.

Bristol spread the ball the width of the pitch to drag their opposition one way, before swinging it back the other, which allowed Murray to find Joyce in the five-metre channel and the winger finished with devastating effect.

After falling behind early on there was a natural resurgence from the hosts, who went close twice as Bradey knocked on over the line and defensive heroics from Burgess denied Rowland.

The warning signs were there, and Lightning eventually made their pressure tell as O’Donnell powered over from short range.

The opening 25 minutes at the University Sports Ground was frenetic to say the least. Both teams taking it in turn to make breaks and test the resilience and work rate of the defensive lines.

Lightning would be nudged ahead with less than five minutes to go before half-time as Scarratt knocked over a penalty goal, before Menin burrowed over for a second attritional score for the hosts to see Loughborough lead 17-7 at the half.

Sarah Bern crossed for the Bears second late on (via Neil Kennedy)

Following the break, it was more of the same from the host as Davies crashed over from a driving lineout. Scarratt then added another penalty to her points haul before Lloyd skipped down the touchline for a dazzling score.

Scrum-half, Davey then pounced on a loose ball at the tail of Bears’ lineout to take the game well out of reach of the visitors.

With little over 15 minutes left to play the Bears unloaded the bench, which had an instant impact with a renewed energy for the visitors.

Butchers and Johnes’ delicate interplay allowed the Bears to advance deep into Lightning territory and provide the visitors with a great opportunity to score, and that they did.

Bristol Bears showed great patience to go through the phases and eventually allow Sarah Bern to power her way over the line under a mass of bodies.

Lightning would have the last say as Abbie Brown’s arcing run gave her the space to beat the onrushing Bears defence and cross in the closing stages to round off the afternoon’s scoring.


Teams & Scorers: 

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. Clara Nielson ©, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Marlo Boyd, 5. Natalia John, 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Manon Johnes, 8. Rownita Marston

Impact Players: 16. Abbie Parsons, 17. Hollie Phillips, 18. Ellie Mulhearn, 19. Megan Barwick, 20. Jenny Herring, 21. Serena Settembri, 22. Chelsea Jones, 23. Georgia Newman

Scorers: Joyce 3’ (TRY), Bern 61’ (TRY), Snowsill 3’ (CON), Skuse 61’ (CON)

Loughborough Lightning: 15. Lizzie Goulden, 14. Abbie Brown, 13. Emily Scarratt, 12. Emma Hardy, 11. Rhona Lloyd, 10. Helena Rowland, 9. Megan Davey; 1. Detysha Harper, 2. Lark Davies, 3. Daleaka Menin, 4. Abby Duguid, 5. Cath O’Donnell, 6. Morwenna Talling, 7. Georgia Bradley, 8. Rachel Malcolm

Replacements: 16. Bryony Field, 17. Katie Trevarthen, 18. Gill Bourke, 19. Anya Richmond, 20. Becky Noon, 21. Jess Weaver, 22. Helen Nelson, 23. Olivia Jones

Scorers: O’Donnell 21’ (TRY), Menin 34’ (TRY), Davies 40’ (TRY), Lloyd 50’ (TRY), Davey (TRY), Brown (TRY), Scarratt 32’, 48’ (PEN)  21’, 34’, 67’


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