Bristol Ladies started off the 15/16 season in style, beating local rivals Worcester Ladies in their first ever performance at Ashton Gate. Two tries in the first four minutes blew Worcester away as Bristol Ladies laid down their marker for the rest of the season.
Courtney Bishop put the home side in front on 55 seconds following some storming carries from Abbie Parson and Sydney Gregson, and Izzy Noel Smith went over 3 minutes later, with help from England No 8, and Bristol new girl, Sarah Hunter.
The following 35 minutes saw Bristol in control, with only a few attacks from Worcester during the half. Gregson, playing at full back, gained rapturous applause from the crowd after two try saving tackles, when Worcester looked to have broken through the Bristol defence. However the execution of the Bristol set piece was top class, getting the ball out wide to the wingers who were able to show their strength and pace down both side of the pitch.
There was good energy from Bristol right from the start, and Tilly Vaughan-Fowler capitalised on this with a show of superb pace and running lines to score an outstanding solo try to finish off the first half.
Half time score 19 – 0 (3 tries, 2 conversions).
The second half started much the same as the first, with Caryl Thomas dotting the ball down over the line to take the score to 24 -0.
From this point Worcester attempted to up their pace and attack, testing the Bristol defence. But the ladies stood strong, forcing errors from the opposition and holding the line, until Worcester flanker Sian Williams broke through with the last play of the game to get a consolation try for the visitors.
Final score: Bristol Ladies 24 – 5 Worcester Ladies
Forward of the game: Caryl Thomas – Forwards Coach Royston Davies ‘Her work rate and attitude was second to none. Her execution at the set piece was spot on, and she played with real intent’
Back of the game: Tilly Vaughan-Fowler – Backs Coach Chris Leech ‘Tilly played out of position today, but always picked the right option. She knew when to run and when to pass, and her try was an exhibition of pure class’
‘We’re extremely proud of the way the girls played today, a big shout out to all of them – they played brilliantly. The positivity in the squad is great, with girls playing out of position and executing the game plan perfectly. We’ve got some players returning to the club over the next few weeks, and the girls today put down a huge marker – competition for 1st team shirts is tougher than ever, which only means positive things for the club’ Coaches Davies and Leech
Captain Amber Reed ‘That was a fantastic start from the girls – the hard work we put in on the training field really paid off and we played at full pace for the full 80 minutes. There’s more to come from us for the season, but this was a great way to start’.
Game Score Stats
1m – TRY Bristol – Courtney Bishop, 5 – 0
4m – TRY Bristol – Izzy Noel Smith, 10 – 0
4m – CONV Bristol – Amber Reed, 12 – 0
40m – TRY Bristol – Tilly Vaughan-Fowler, 17 – 0
40m – CONV Bristol – Amber Reed, 19 – 0
43m – TRY Bristol – Caryl Thomas, 24 – 0
80m – TRY Worcester – Sian Williams, 24 – 5
- Caryl Thomas
- Clara Neilson
- Abbie parsons
- Kate Newton
- Amelia Buckland-Hurry
- Rachel Taylor
- Izzy Noel Smith
- Sarah Hunter
- Sian Moore
- Amber Reed
- Courtney Bishop
- Claire Molloy
- Tilly Vaughan Fowler
- Jenny Fotheringham
- Sydney Gregson
- Daisy Tavers (40m, Buckland-Hurry)
- Georgia Bradley (65m, Abbie Parsons)
- Laura Keates
- Steph Clarke
- Rochelle Clarke
- Ellie Prescott
- Lizzie Binks
- Lyndsay O’Ponnell
- Sophie Williams
- Lisa Campbell
- Rhiannon Parker
- Ceri Large
- Sam Parker
- Benedict Williams
- Zoe Benion
- Josue Symonds
- Steph Johnson
- Helen Bunce
- Courtney Gill (32m, Prescott)
- Sian Williams (40m, Lizzie Binks)
- Jas Bixley
- Charlie Byrne (72m, Rhiannon Parker)
- Abi Porteous (Josie Symonds)
- Bianca Blackburn (40m, Benedict Williams)
Bristol Ladies 2nd XV vs Hove RFC
The 2nd XV also had their first game of the season today, which ended in a 0 – 55 defeat at the hands of Hove RFC. Coach Seb Delport commented on the positivity from the girls ‘The first half was pretty close, Hove only a 12 point lead as we went into the second half. Unfortunately our fitness and execution let us down, although there were some really strong performances from the likes of Naomi Smith and Tara McGlade. Captain Toya Chapman-Mercer made sure the girls kept their heads up and pushed for the full 80. We’ll learn from this for next week and the more time we spend together as a squad, the strong we’ll become’.
Bristol Ladies 1st XV vs Lichfield Ladies (away) 3pm
Bristol Ladies 2nd XV vs Henley Hawkes (away) 3pm
Match reports courtesy of Bristol Ladies
Photo by Rikki Teml