Gordano set off for Westbury in positive mood given recent performances but the afternoon started badly when most of the team followed satnav instructions and ended up in a housing estate in Trowbridge.
Luckily the Westbury coach was able to talk the girls in over the phone but they arrived with only 20 minutes until kick off. With a quick warm up completed and debutants Megan Alderton and Victoria Sparrow introduced to the team, Gordano started the game playing into a strong wind.
Both teams were defending aggressively with big hits but after some consistent pressure Gordano created an overlap on the left and fly half Izzy Day went in to score an unconverted try. Westbury used the wind and their big forward pack to establish a position in the Gordano 22 but the organised defence with flankers Victoria Sparrow, Lucia Gaetani, Tracey Rollings and captain Lucy Hope to the fore pushed Westbury back and a turnover led to full back Rae-Lee Pham going down the left wing and outpacing the defence scoring to make it 0-10 to Gordano.
At this point novice prop Tash Bradley who had been part of a solid front five performance in the scrums suffered a shoulder injury which led to uncontested scrums. Scrum half Leanne Ball continued to take on the Westbury defence with some quick tapped penalties and with great support from the likes of Lauren MacDonald, Erin Farmer and Lucia, Westbury again used the wind to kick into the Gordano 22 and with five minutes to half time they scored a converted try through a driving maul, their main attacking ploy.
Turning around with the wind at their backs Gordano continued to run the ball from everywhere and after 20 minutes Leanne took the ball blind from a scrum on the Westbury 22 and beat the defence to score in the corner to make it 7-15. Gordano then conceded multiple penalties and got on the wrong side of the ref eventually resulting in a penalty try for collapsing a maul more than 10 metres away from the try line which was unconverted to make it 12-15 with 8 minutes to go.
Gordano focused on their discipline and body shape at Mauls and started to regain the ascendancy resulting in barnstorming runs from Lucy and Tash which set up Lucia for the final try to make it 12-20 with two minutes to play which Gordano defended despite heavy pressure. All 17 in the squad put their bodies on the line and contributed to some great running rugby for a deserved win in a very physical game.
Woman of the match goes to Lucia who tackled everything, competed at the breakdown throughout and added to the attack with some great carries.
Gordano entertain Old Reds at The lane on Wednesday evening and look forward to their last home game on Sunday when Hornettes visit. A busy week!