Howles bags a hat-trick as Kenilworth whitewash Old Northamptonians

Winger Sophie Henry dots down for Kenilworth Ladies.
Winger Sophie Henry dots down for Kenilworth Ladies.
  • Midlands One
  • Kenilworth Ladies 57 Old Northamptonians Ladies 0

Winger Phoebe Howles scored a hat-trick, with winger Sophie Henry and centre Felicity Baldwin both adding two tries apiece in an 11-try rout as Kenilworth maintained their perfect start to the season, writes Sophie Freestone.

In ideal conditions for running rugby, it did not take long for the hosts to get their first points of the match.

Caroline Spence takes some stopping for Kenilworth. Pictures: Tim Nunan

Caroline Spence takes some stopping for Kenilworth. Pictures: Tim Nunan

With Old Northamptonians camped on their own five-metre line, Rebecca Lane charged down a clearance kick straight into the arms of number eight Caroline Spence who barged her way over in the right-hand corner for a 5-0 lead.

Just four minutes later Kenilworth were back on the scoreboard, this time through centre Beth Woodward.

Having won a scrum against the head, powerful running from Woodward saw her break through a gaping hole in the Old Northamptonians defence to touch down under the posts. Rebecca Lewis added the extras from the tee for a 12-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes.

The following 15 minutes saw Old Northamptonians gain some territory in the Kenilworth half but strong defence, solid clearance kicks and dominant scrummaging staved off any threat from the visitors.

Winger Sophie Henry then continued her impressive tryscoring record when Kenilworth made the most of a mismatch on the wing, racing past a prop to score on the right.

With the first half entering the final ten minutes, Kenilworth regained possession and the ball was shipped out to the left wing where Phoebe Howles left the visitors’ defence in her wake to score in the corner.

It took just four minutes before Howles was back on the scoreboard as Kenilworth secured the bonus point. Quick thinking set up an excellent counter attack with Woodward offloading to Baldwin who found Howles in space on the left for an easy run-in and a 27-0 half-time lead.

Kenilworth started the second half in the same manner they finished the first, this time scoring straight from the kick-off through Baldwin. Having strung some accurate passes together inside the Old Northamptonians 22, Baldwin found herself in space to score her side’s sixth try of the afternoon.

Like Howles, Baldwin wasted no time in putting herself back on the scoresheet, making her way around the full-back straight after the restart.

As the end of the third quarter approached, Howles wrapped up her hat-trick, using her pace to cross in the left-hand corner to extend her side’s lead to 42 points.

After a series of tries from the backs, the forwards joined the party with flanker Janine McComiskey going over from close range.

It was Kenilworth’s ninth try of the afternoon, coming after 65 minutes, and took her side to within touching distance of the 50-point mark.

The half-century was reached just three minutes later when full-back Helena Allison-Moore broke past the visitors’ defence, with strong running from the number 15 allowing her to score on the right.

The hosts’ 11th, and last, try came with the final play of the match, Henry showing her lightning pace to beat the cover and round off an impressive win for the newly-promoted side.