The Owls pack was dominant all day and turned ball over at virtually every scrum, but because the two sides were so evenly matched the Worthing defence was turning Harwich ball over at the breakdown. It was a stalemate until the 25th minute when following a turnover of a Worthing scrum Harwich fly half Becki Hare quickly passed along the line to Kimberley Hutchins who spotted a gap in the Worthing line and sprinted clear 70m to touch down under the posts, Chloe Hawkins slotted the conversion to put Harwich up 0-7.
A couple of injuries forced a reshuffle for The Owls and Worthing exploited this with a sustained attack inside the Harwich 22m line.
The Owls gave away a penalty 10m out and before the defence could reorganise fast ball to the wing saw Leanne Lampard score in the corner, the conversion missed to leave the score 5-7 at half time.
Worthing upped their play in the second half and the game moved up a gear. The Owls were put under a constant stream of attacks and failed to clear their line, Worthing again put the ball wide and Lauren Owens made it over the try line to score, the conversion missed but Worthing now led 10-7. From the ensuing kick off The Owls again found themselves under a constant barrage from Worthing who really had the bit between their teeth, quick recycled ball from ruck after ruck eventually went to Saz Longhurst who broke free to go over the try line to give the home side a 15-7 lead after the conversion attempt was missed.
This seemed to wake Harwich up and it was Worthing found wanting inside their 22, they conceded a penalty which was taken quickly by Sam Wilmott and from fast recycled ball Lillie Barnett hit the defensive line at pace to score and put a smile back on The Owls faces, the conversion missed but with 7 minutes left and a score of 15-12 The Owls were given a lifeline. Play took a turn in The Owls favour when Worthing lost one of their inspirational centres who was given a yellow card for a high tackle on Lillie Barnett.
Worthing despite being down to 14 threw everything at The Owls, apart from the kitchen sink, although it was spotted on the sideline! It was all hands to the deck as Worthing pressed the attack to The Harwich defence. With The Owls on their 5m line Naomi Walker made an outstanding play to steal the ball in a ruck and with quick passes through the backs it went to
Kimberley Hutchins, who for the second time in the game split a tiring Worthing defence and sprinted clear this time from 90m out, rounding the covering fullback to touch down under the posts, Chloe Hawkins converted again and as the ball sailed through the posts the referee blew the final whistle to see The Owls tip the scales for a 15-19 road win.
Report by Tim Flatt
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