Portsmouth Valkyries and Havant Ladies bounce back to winning ways at home

Portsmouth Valkyries returned to winning ways with a thrilling 17-15 NC South West 2 triumph against Cullompton at Rugby Camp.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 10:22 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 12:42 pm
Georgie Outhwaite in action for Valkyries against Cullompton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Senior coach Mark Witcher felt it was the perfect way to bounce back after their defeat at Reading Ladies.

'It was a hard-fought game and Cullompton kept pushing us,' said Witcher.

'There was never a time in the game when we felt out of the woods.

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Megan Musgrave in possession for Valkyries against Cullompton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

'The way we finally saw the game out to win should breed further confidence in our squad.

'We had talked about where we needed to improve our game after Reading.

'I wanted them to be brave and take a few more chances.

'They did that and were prepared to try some of the things we introduced at training.

Valkyries v Cullompton at Norway Road. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

'When they came off, we looked good.

'We showed great application in a tight game.

'There is great competition for places at the moment and the girls can be proud of themselves.'

The hosts had to weather some early pressure at the start, but after 15 minutes burst into life with number eight Sophie Roseaman causing lots of problems.

Rachael Kidner in possession for Valkyries against Cullompton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

On 23 minutes the Valkyries got their noses in front when Georgi Outhwaite made a good break and left winger Carrie Whymark capitalised on it with a try.

Soon after Megan Musgrave scored under the posts and Whymark converted for a 12-0 lead.

The Devonians hit back with two tries either side of half-time.

The Valkyries, however, seized the initiative again when Cheryl Goodwin fed Bryony Jacobs from a scrummage and the latter set Nikki Buckingham free to score in the right hand corner.

Georgie Outhwaite in possession for Valkyries against Cullompton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Cullompton reduced the deficit to two points in the final minute.

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Havant Ladies also got back on track with a 24-10 win against Canterbury at Hooks Lane.

Senior coach Dean Dryhurst was pleased to see his team put their London Irish defeat behind them.

The win also strengthened their position at the top of NC1 South-East South.

'Canterbury gave us a tough game and at times we defended really well,' said Dryhurst.

Abbi Harding in possession for Valkyries against Cullompton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

'We knew that we had to raise our game after losing to London Irish.

'It was a shame that we missed out on a bonus point try.

'The girls upped their game and overall the performance was pleasing.'

Winger Tara Tuivaga gave Havant the best possible start with a try after just three minutes.

On 23 minutes captain Tash Bullock added a second, forcing her way through the defensive line out wide.

Two minutes into the second half Amy Brittan claimed a try with Kirstie Hopkins knocking over the conversion.

The home side’s final score arrived in the 58th minute with Jess Valentine touching down and Hopkins adding the extra points.

Nikki Buckingham in possession for Valkyries against Cullompton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves