Gloucester-Hartpury hit Kendal for half-century in cup final clash

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Gloucester-Hartpury women’s rugby team racked up a half-century of points as they cruised past Kendal Hornets to claim the Women’s National Junior Cup final crown.

Susie Appleby’s side, in their debut season, found themselves 3-0 down early on but rallied to put 50 unanswered points past their opponents to claim their first ever title in style.

Head coach, Susie Appleby, said: “The girls performed excellently and we’re all so pleased to have not only got to the final in our debut season but to have actually lifted the cup at the very first time of asking!

“We had to absorb a lot of pressure early on and found ourselves behind but it just goes to show the character this team has to fight back the way they did.

“There were some brilliant phases of play and we really controlled the game from our first try to the last minute. There were a lot of really eye-catching performances but most importantly we pulled together as a team and put in the kind of performance that I always knew we were capable of.

“The team have been growing in confidence all season and, as I said before the game, I would have never expected to get to the final in our first season as a team, let alone win the cup, so I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Coming into the clash in good form having lost only once this season, Gloucester-Hartpury conceded an early penalty which Kendal duly dispatched to put them ahead with only 10 minutes gone.

Gloucester-Hartpury responded quickly as centre Chloe Barton’s try opened their account, setting in motion a flurry of unanswered scores which included three players grabbing a brace of tries and 10 points from the boot of Emma Mundy.

Fly-half Daisy Fahey scored Gloucester-Hartpury’s second following a lineout, with Mundy opening her own account with the first of five conversions to put them 12-3 in front.

Stacie Hardie’s try on 35 minutes gave the Gloucestershire side a 14-point advantage heading into the half-time break.

Kendal, despite failing to muster a try of their own, stood firm during the opening exchanges of the second half before back row Zoe Aldcroft crossed twice – either side of Jade Shekells’ opening score of the half. Three Mundy conversions made the score 38-3.

Gloucester-Hartpury then piled on the misery for Kendal as they ran away with the game during the final stages.

Barton went over the whitewash again and Shekells wrapped up the game with her second try. Mundy’s fifth conversion was the final act of the game as the team clinched victory in devastating fashion.

The Gloucester-Hartpury team will now look ahead to their final game with Bath at Gloucester Rugby’s Kingsholm Stadium on April 25th immediately following the Cherry and Whites’ Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons. They will then begin their preparations for entry into the national leagues next season.

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