Missed chances cost Woodbridge Amazons dear against Harwich & Dovercourt

Woodbridge Amazons Vicky Watts passes the ball, watched by Maggie Kelly

Woodbridge Amazons Vicky Watts passes the ball, watched by Maggie Kelly - Credit: Archant

Having enjoyed a terrific reversal over Tabard the previous Sunday, the chance to avenge a 26-5 defeat to Essex side Harwich & Dovercourt looked a tantalising and achievable goal for the in-form Woodbridge Amazons.

Woodbridge's Paula Donnelly is held up on the line

Woodbridge's Paula Donnelly is held up on the line - Credit: Archant

However, after once again starting slowly and giving up an early lead, three missed opportunities gifted the hosts a fortuitous double.

H&D’s number 8 stole a ball after three minutes and, as all the back line worked left, full-back Yaz Amber burst against the drift to touch down under the posts. Annalise Allen kicked the conversion for a seven-point advantage.

The Amazons reacted well to that early wake-up call and the first of those missed opportunities occurred when Carmel Roisin was held up over the hosts’ try line.

The hosts picked themselves up after that scare and, in front of a large and vociferous Vice President’s crowd, went further ahead – Sian Fahei driving over from close range for an unconverted try.

Mimi Montgomery on the ball for Harwich

Mimi Montgomery on the ball for Harwich - Credit: Archant


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The Amazons stepped up a gear and began to dominate possession. Harwich kicked their way out of trouble, but some good lines of running by both backs and forwards maintained a territorial edge in the visitors’ favour.

Jenni Ray was held up over the try line, and moments later another golden opportunity went begging as Roisin picked up from the back of a five-metre scrum – but didn’t ground the ball until she was through the in-goal area.

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The half ended with the hosts, somewhat amazingly, enjoying a 12-0 advantage.

The second half was a scrum-fest as conditions worsened.

Woodbridge's Claire Brinkley is closed down.

Woodbridge's Claire Brinkley is closed down. - Credit: Archant

This played into the Amazons’ hands somewhat as props Paula Ireland and Toni Bell turned their opposite numbers inside out.

Meanwhile, loose forwards Maggie Kelly and Karen Black swarmed the Harwich ball carriers and skipper Claire Brickley and centre Anna Dewberry ran lovely direct lines at the heart of Harwich’s defence.

After a series of penalties against the hosts inside their own 22, the ball was eventually worked left for Dewberry to score.

Brickley missed the conversion to make it 5-12, and despite gaining the ascendancy, no further scoring chances were created.

Anna Dewberry battles her way through for Woodbridge

Anna Dewberry battles her way through for Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

H&D looked relieved at the final whistle, and it certainly seemed a case of “what might have been” for the visitors.

Overall, these past two weeks have seen a marked improvement by Woodbridge though, and, with a week off to recover before the league leaders Wymondham roll into town on January 29, the signs are promising for a great 2017.

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