All mud and guts as Hampstead enjoy emphatic win

Rugby aces continue ‘remarkable turnaround’ with 48-0 win. Photos: Sharnie Pokai

Thursday, 20th January — By Steve Barnett

Hampstead Ladies RFC

Hampstead celebrate the victory over Medway that leaves them in fourth place. Photos: Sharnie Pokai

THERE was magic in the mud on Sunday as Hamp­stead Ladies RFC recorded their first unanswered victory of the season.

The first XV brushed aside Medway in their home match on Hamp­stead Heath extension, sealing a stonking 48-0 win that leaves them fourth in the Women’s Championship South East 2 nine-team table.

It continues “a remarkable turnaround” of results that has now seen Hampstead start 2022 with back-to-back triumphs following the 20-15 victory over Sutton & Epsom in their opening outing of the new year.

“This was a fantastic win to back up last weekend’s effort,” said coach Sam Stabler. “The team is really starting to gel, and one to 22 should be incredibly proud of scoring eight unanswered tries. They were epic in defence and deadly in attack.”

Sunday’s victory was also the first time Hampstead had not conceded the first points of the game – an issue that has plagued them all season.

Instead, the scoring was started by lock Roisin Healy, who dotted down between the sticks within minutes of the kick-off. It ignited a solid perfor­mance throughout that would later earn Healy “forward of the match”.

Sophie Bale scores one her side’s eight tries

Rachel Hunter converted neatly with what proved to be a very reliable boot. The centre went on to kick a total of eight points.

Full-back Emma McBride returned from injury to put in a “back of the match” display with brilliant line breaks, making countless metres to set up further tries for her teammates, including scrum-half Rachel Berry and winger Violette Desarmeaux.

The first half ended with centre Beth Sims crashing over the line after some quick hands through the backs.

And Hampstead con­tinued their dominance after the break, with Maÿlis Chapellier joining the scoring before Berry grabbed her second try of the day.

Flanker Sophie Bale also showed her power as she charged through multiple defenders to get herself on the scoresheet, with Hunter rounding off the day in style with a try in the final play of the game.

Hampstead captain and fly-half Faye Hamp said: “This was our strongest start of the season, with our early points allowing the team to really settle into the game.

“It was a great 80-minute performance. The consistency we’ve seen at training and on the teamsheet is really paying off for us as a squad.”

• Hampstead Ladies are always looking for new players, whether experienced or new to the game. They cater for all levels and train on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information find them on Facebook and Instagram or email hampsteadladies@googlemail.com

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