On a glorious Sunday afternoon Horsham Ladies travelled the 41 miles to take on the recently re-formed Gravesend Rugby Club Ladies team, in their second preseason friendly.
Cheered onto the pitch by a large local support, interspersed by some of the Horsham faithful, both teams looked to run the ball early. It was apparent from early in the first quarter that Gravesend’s superior handling was going to be the difference between the two committed teams. Gravesend managed to run in 4 tries in the first quarter, due to a mixture of good handling, incisive running, and some indifferent tackling form the Horsham Ladies. That said some excellent tackles from Horsham prevented further scores.
In the second quarter was interspersed by a series of scrummages, due to handling errors by both sides, the Horsham Ladies, held their own in the main against a much bigger pack. It was at this point in the game that the combination of tough tackling and a very hard surface began to take its toll. Gravesend managed to cross the Horsham line on 3 occasions, to give a halftime score of 37-0.
Multiple changes had taken place by the time the teams turned around at halftime; Horsham came out of the blocks fast, and came very close to scoring, only to turn the ball over, with the Gravesend line at their mercy. A much improved quarter, was punctuated with more injuries, which Gravesend capitalised upon. 2 tries in the 3rd quarter, was a little harsh on the visitors.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, it was decided that the final whistle should be blown, all Horsham replacements had been used, and it was felt neither team would benefit from playing on with reduced teams. The final score was Gravesend 49 Horsham 0.
The result was fair, Gravesend clearly had experienced players in their ranks, but the whole of the Horsham team stuck to their task and deserve credit for their endeavours.