Hammers Women’s 1st get the double over Ye Old Enemy Hampstead!

Thankfully the storm from last week has passed and the Hammers were blessed with (mostly) sunshine at Hurlingham to face off against Hampstead. After a tough loss in terrible conditions last week, Hammers were keen to bounce straight back and that’s exactly what we did. Hammers had possession from kick off and looked to make good ground early on. Our game plan worked well with good phases carrying us into the Hampstead half and then 22. Hard carries from the forwards got us within inches of the line with a big carry from FredTappers (sensing the opportunity for a score) picked and dived over the line (and Fred) to score our first try. Conversion from Sirri 7-0.

Hammers struck again not-too-soon afterwards with Ella making a great inside line to cut through the Hampstead defence and over the whitewash. 12-0. Hampstead weren’t to be underestimated though as they started to fight back through turnovers and some Hammers ill discipline. Their quick off loading game paid off as they worked it around to the outside to score. Conversion made it 12-7. Hammers concentration dropped slightly and Hampstead scored again immediately after kick-off, moving the ball around quickly to score in the corner again. 12-14. Hampstead felt the tide had turned in their favour and pushed for another score before halftime. However, Hammers had rallied under the posts and refocused. Our defence was strong and we held the ball up over the line to break the Hampstead attack and give ourselves some breathing room going into halftime.

In the second half Hammers came out fighting, camping out in the Hampstead half looking for the score to take the lead. Hampstead ill-discipline led to a yellow card for a high tackle (the ref had been clear from the start that she would card for this offence). There were some nice plays from the backs, looking to play the ball at pace with the player overlap, that were unable to convert against a strong Hampstead rush defence. Finally our efforts paid off with Kaye smashing over to score and put Hammers back in front 17-14. The match turned into a tight arm wrestle with Hammers hunting for that all important bonus point score and Hampstead working to try and regain the lead. A high tackle on Kaye by the returning Hampstead yellow carded player led to a second yellow and therefore a red (for anyone that is unfamiliar with this rule – if you have two yellow cards in a game it becomes a red card automatically so please avoid!). Hampstead still held up strong despite being a man down until a loose ball at the back of a Hampstead ruck allowed Chloe J to get boot on ball and make a break. The ball was then popped to Amy D who made a great run to make our bonus point score and her first Hammers 1XV try! Sirri converted to make it 24-14. 1 1/2 minutes of ball protection in our own half later Alex W was able to boot the ball out to end the game.

Final score 24-14

 We went into this match with the aim of getting a bonus point win and I’d say we absolutely smashed it! Each and everyone of you should be proud of the effort you put in on the pitch. Everyone left it out there to get this win. Our support work off the ball is what led to our tries – a true team effort all round. We have a weekend off this week so please make it to training if you can. As Ben said after the game, it’s the effort we put in outside of matches that will mean we can keep getting these wins. I’ll see you guys tonight!


Forward of the match – Emma Stilwell for her incredible carries and intensity through all 80mins

Back of the match –  Chloe Jennings for her smart plays both around the breakdown and in open play

Super sub – Amy Duff for great impact off the bench including scoring her first Hammers 1XV try which got the bonus point!