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Match Report from the weekend, thank you to everyone who pulled on a shirt and a big thank you to our supporters x 🕷 🕷

As they entered their game against top of the table Pulborough, the Widows knew they were in for a challenge.

Pulborough came out hard from the kick off, with excellent tackling from Becky Hollands and back of the match Ella Hubbard neutralizing early Pulborough chances.

Despite some ferocious defence from the Widows, Pulborugh were quickest to apadt to the wet and windy conditions and scored in the corner, taking the lead 5-0.

Captain Jenny Weller was leading the defensive charge as she looked to gain the territorial advantage from her boot, however the Pulborough fullback displayed great running and evasion as she made a number of strong returns.

As the Widows looked to apply some pressure, Mel Bramley read the opposition backline with brilliant accuracy as she charged down a Pulbrough kick and was just beaten to the ball, narrowly missing the score. On the wing Anna Mattiuzzi, was showing her blistering pace as she constantly made ground carrying into the Pulborough half.

The Widows started to show dominance in the scrum, driving Pulborough back, spurred on by the vocal Widow’s supporters. Lou Blunt outpaced her opposite number from the base of the scrum making a great break, offloading to the ever present Zoe Barr, who made further inroads into the Pulborough defense before setting up a ruck, some strong tackling from Pulborough leading to a turnover.

Pulborough took advantage of some Widows indiscipline at the ruck as they launched waves of attack at the Widows line from the increasing penalty count, the pressure told as Pulborough crashed over from short distance, adding the extras to make it 12-0.

The Widows were caught napping 2 minutes later as some strong running from the Pulborough backline saw them break from inside their own half to score. The Widows were spending a great deal of time defending with ferocious tackling from Paula Ridley and Caz Gaiger on her Widows debut.

Louise Skelhorn, playing in the unfamiliar backrow was hitting ruck after ruck trying to secure some forward momentum. Despite the huge tackle count from the Widows, Pulborough finished the half with a score, going in 24-0 up.

The half time team talk lifted the Widows spirits as they came out for the second half with renewed confidence. The front row of Kerry Ambridge, Shelley Barnes and Kaylee Honeyball were causing chaos at scrum time, repeatedly disrupting Pulborough ball in a magnificent display of scrummaging.

For the next 20 minutes, the Widows defended valiantly, with Zoe Barr and forward of the match Di Anderson racking up monumental tackle counts.

Having spent large portions of the game defending, the Widows began to tire, as the Pulborough flyhalf skilfully exploited the space, stretching the Widows defence as they leaked 3 tries.

The Widows looked to regather themselves as Sophie Honeyball, tried to breakdown the Pulborough defence with some powerful carries, looking to give the Widows backs some space to attack. At 9 and 10, Lou Blunt and Jenny Weller strung together some great moves with Becky Hollands and Sally Hubbard forcing Pulborough to make some impressive tackles of their own.

The final say went to Pulborough as they scored in the corner to take the game 44-0, coming out well deserved winners. This was not the result the Widows had hoped for, however they can take pride in their ‘never backdown defence’.

Next week the Widows are on the road to West Cliff as they look to return to winning ways.