Owls lose out in dramatic finish.
By Simon Woodley
Harwich Owls faced off against Worthing Warriors at Low Road on Sunday, the two evenly matched sides fought out another closely contested game which went down to the wire.
The first 20 minutes was a stalemate between the 22m lines with good surging runs from Owls forwards Di Wood and Sam Wilmot moving the ball, but with possession changing hands regularly big tackles from Sam Wilmot, Sian Smith and Genevive Croll kept Worthing at bay.
The deadlock was broken eventually when Harwich kept the pressure on Worthing who could not get out of their 22 and again good scything runs from the Harwich pack and quick recycled forward ball saw Di Wood crash over from 5m out to score, Sophia Tricker kicked the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The Owls crossed the try line shortly after again after good phase play pinned Worthing deep in their half, they conceded a penalty 5m out Sam Wilmot took it quickly and offloaded to Tasha Bray who powered over the line with the help of a couple of her pack buddies, the conversion missed but left The Owls 12-0 up.
Harwich lost centre Hannah Dobner to a serious leg injury which meant a reshuffle to the back line.
Worthing started to put some good phases together and when a penalty was awarded against a Harwich scrum on their own 22m line, quick ball through the Worthing back line caught Harwich defence too narrow and outpaced the cover to score, the conversion was made to make it 12-7.
Harwich went down to 14 after a yellow card for Sophia Tricker just before the break.
The opening kick off for the second half saw Worthing collect the kick on their 10m line and with The Owls coverage not what it should have been Worthing returned it to score under the posts, with the conversion made the visitors now had a 12-14 advantage.
With Sophia Tricker back on the field the Harwich skipper rallied her troops with some outstanding tackling and The Owls upped their game.
The Owls put together some really good phase play and Becki Hare was moving the team with metronomic accuracy, the Harwich pack were dominating scrums and Emma Simons kept turning over ball at will.
When Harwich forced a penalty following a Worthing scrum Sian Smith was quick to tap and go from 7m out she pierced the Worthing defence to score, unfortunately the conversion missed but Harwich were back in front 17-14.
With the game heading into the last few minutes and with both sides tiring, Harwich discipline started to break down, they conceded three penalties in a row which moved Worthing to the Harwich 5m line and just when it looked like The Owls would hold out after they were awarded a scrum for a forward pass, a free kick was given to Worthing for an early strike in the set piece, Worthing took the kick quickly with The Owls still retreating and crashed over to score with the last play of the game, they missed the conversion but took the win 17-19.
Report by Tim Flatt