By Ian Lodge
Thanet Wanderers RUFC Ladies 58 Cranbrook RFC 10
Thanet Wanderers RUFC ladies XV continued their unbeaten run at the top of National Challenge 2 with a convincing victory over Cranbrook RFC by 58-10.
Playing on a Saturday as part of the club’s double header – the men would later beat Cranbrook 39-31 – the ladies were buoyed by a large crowd of ex-players viewing from the sidelines and the balcony.
Dominant starts have quickly become a feature of Thanet’s game and this was to be no different and after a scrum on the right, swift hands from the backs saw full back Jess Anderson ghost into the light and go over from 30 metres out. It was to be the first of 4 tries for Anderson in an impressive performance in her new position at full back.
The forwards were doing what they do by making dents in the Cranbrook defence and allowing the space to appear out wide when centre, Rachael Austerberry escaped some week tackling in midfield and scored her 7th try in 3 games.
The Cranbrook forwards were strong and when in possession were making holes in Thanet’s defence but there always seemed to be some cover defence which would keep them scoreless at least until half time.
Pack leader, Milly Thurman-Newell broke the line and hobbled over from 30 metres out before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. Léonie Bish stepping in for Alex White at fly half marshalled her resources with aplomb and after Jess Anderson had completed her hat-trick and winger Amy Coster had got her first, Bish added a couple of conversions to open her scoring account for the season. Austerberry then added her second, Coster got her second and the first half ended with Thanet 44-0 ahead.
The second half saw the introduction of more 1st XV debutant players in the form of Tia Perkins and Justine Mackintosh which is a demonstration of how this Thanet Ladies squad is growing. Both applied themselves in the back row and will put their hand up for 1st XV selection again.
With the wind and slope elements in their favour in the second half, Cranbrook came back into the game and having camped themselves in the bottom end of the park twice, came away with 2 tries. But the final word went to Wanderers with Anderson getting her fourth before Kent second row, Georgia Elks got over for the final try, converted by Bish.
The next outing for the Thanet Ladies is a midweek floodlit game at the club on Wednesday 25th October against Christchurch University before they travel to Ashford for the next round of the Junior Cup at Ashford RFC the following Sunday 29th October.
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