With the sunshine blazing, and it being the Ladies. first ever home league game . it was a big day for rugby. The conditions were perfect for a fast paced backs game, which is how the Hackney Gladies like to play rugby.
From the kick off, Hackney piled on the pressure onto Havant and won territorial space from unforced errors. The forwards were carrying the ball powerfully, in particular our supersonic captain Emma Middleton who always likes to show how it should be done. A no-nonsense, focussed start from Hackney gave Havant, the more experienced side, the quick realisation that this game was not going to be an easy win for them.

However, points sadly didn.t materialise. Ball was being lost by both teams through knock-ons and a hard-fought battle in the scrum. The ball got to the Havant backs, and whilst a mighty tackle from Freja Liiv on the wing prevented the first breakthrough, Havant managed to score a try under the posts with the second. A quick conversion and five minutes later a penalty was conceded seeing the score at 10-0. Hackney came fighting back, and at the close of the second half looked at our most dangerous with quick ball going out to the backs . Doig and Meeson making some great runs and the others, in particular Hague, supporting superbly. We gained inch by inch to their try line, which then saw Charley Miller passing quick ball to flyhalf, Sophie Campbell who then spotted our hooker Jess Cobb on her outside and passed beautifully for Jess to try under the posts. Half time saw the score at 10-5

The second half saw Hackney grow with confidence. We were winning our scrums, and our method of quick back ball was working effectively. This was momentarily dashed by their 12 making a clean break and sprinting three-quarters of the pitch to try under the posts. 17-5. Hackney replied in kind, with Campbell and Hague drawing the opposition to them and Liiv storming down the pitch to score a try. Which was then disallowed because she went out of touch. But Hackney were not prepared to give up. Shortly after, Doig made another sprint down the wing, to face a huge tackle. Havant scored again shortly before the end of the game, to leave a final score of 22-5.

The score didn.t reflect how hard the Hackney Gladies worked that day. The forwards had a fantastic game and worked incredibly hard in the rucks and their support play was crucial in retaining possession of the ball. The back line looked constantly dangerous, and worked incredibly well as a unit. Whilst we.ve only played together for a year, and most of the team less than that, we are growing strength by strength and we look forward to playing Havant again in December.

Forward of the match goes to Jess Cobb, who was everywhere on the day . even in the back line at one point to score a try! Back of the match goes to Freja Liiv, who had disappeared for months to play football, then came back to play a superb game . defending powerfully and as quick as a bullet on the wing.