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Jess Keohane scored a hat-trick as Bishop's Stortford Ladies claimed an impressive 70-10 home victory over Tabard in Women's NC2 Midlands (South)



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Jess Keohane scored a hat-trick of tries as Bishop's Stortford Ladies claimed an impressive 70-10 home victory over Tabard in Women's NC2 Midlands (South), writes Dave Walker.

Possession changed hands several times in the opening exchanges with the sides looking reasonably well matched until the hosts managed to break from their own five-metre line to set up camp in Tabard's 22.

A typically powerful run from prop Carleigh Lalonge saw her barge her way over the line to score under the sticks. Outside-half Becca Coppen slotted the extras in what was the start of a faultless performance from the tee.

The majority of the pressure remained with the ladies in blue and white, and a surging run by Mia Richey saw her dotting down under the posts. Coppen converted with ease to put the home team 14-0 up.

Some balance was restored as a clearance kick from deep in Stortford's 22 was expertly fielded by Tabard's full-back, who arced around the right-wing to score under the posts and cut the deficit to nine points. The conversion was narrowly missed, hitting the right-hand upright.

Stortford's response came almost immediately as they regained the ball and broke the line, with Coppen putting in an excellent offload to see Keohane in under the posts.

BSRFC Ladies beat Tabard 70-10 at Silver Leys (54216772)
BSRFC Ladies beat Tabard 70-10 at Silver Leys (54216772)

This marked the start of something of a purple patch for the home side, with a well-taken try for No 8 Jess Slade followed in quick succession by a second for Lalonge.

The visitors rallied to get a second try, but the momentum remained firmly with Stortford. A second try for Keohane was followed by scores for Eva Radukic and Kate Hazlewood before Keohane completed her treble which she also converted after Coppen graciously handed over kicking duties to mark the occasion.

Coppen concluded the scoring with Stortford's 10th try, which she duly converted to mark a perfect afternoon with the boot. Richey also claimed a two-pointer during a brief break for Coppen.

The final score was arguably a fair reflection of the home side's performance, which was marked by some slick offloading as well as a power game that kept punching holes in the defence.

Credit must go to Tabard, who fought to the final whistle despite being short-handed and hit by a number of injuries during the course of the game.



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