Stoakes try treble as Withy ladies see off battling Honiton ladies

Withycombe ladies, all set for another season of rugby

Withycombe ladies, all set for another season of rugby - Credit: Archant

Withycombe’s ladies launched a new season with a 48-17 victory over Honiton ladies.

Problems with player availability left Honiton arriving with just eight players and so Withy leant five of their large squad to ensure a 13-versus-13 match was played at Raleigh Park.

Withy ladies have lost 10 of last season’s successful squad and gave debuts in this game to centre Sam Johnston and number eight Alice Thompson.

It did not take long for Thompson to bag her first Withy try. Bridget Culver, in her new berth of fly-half, set up Claire Stoakes to double the Withy try count.

Honiton hit back with a try from outside centre Sarah Hurford, and the try was converted, but a rejuvenated Andrea Parkin turned the ball over from Honiton scrum, some simple hands getting the ball wide and Stoakes crossed for her second try before a second try for Thompson, converted by Parkin, sent Withy into the break with a 22-7 lead.


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Honiton number eight Abi Chalk launched the second half scoring with a try before Withy restored the margin between the teams with Sophie Tomlinson providing the assist for a Culver try. Honiton scored their third try through Charley Keirle.

The Withy fitness was the clear difference in the final quarter of the contest. Stoakes crossed for her hat-trick try – but she later picked up a broken collarbone and will sit out the action for the next six weeks.

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Kelly Browring bagged a quick brace of tries towards the end to complete the try scoring. Parkin slotted conversions for four of the eight Withy tries.

Withy ladies are back in action this Sunday (September 25) at the Topsham 10s tournament at which they will field two teams. They are then at home to Chard in a National Vase tie the following Sunday.

Withycombe: Horler, Bugbee (c), Richoux, Carlsen-Browne, Stephens, Thompson, Parkin, Culver, Stoakes, Johnston, Guest-Williams, Skinner, Avery, Norton, Kendrick, Tomlinson, Browring, Stuart.

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