Worcester Valkyries pushed until the dying moments but fell just short against Firwood Waterloo Ladies in the Tyrrells Premier 15s at Sixways on Saturday.
Tries from Carys Cox, Lauren Leatherland and Zoe Bennion kept Valkyries in the hunt for their first-ever win in the competition but Waterloo held on to deny them.
Valkyries almost made the perfect start when Sian Moore attacked the blindside from a ruck but was unable to hold on to Bennion’s off-load.
From the resulting scrum, the visitors drove into Valkyries’ 22. With this field position, Firwood put themselves ahead early with two penalties from Bethany Stott.
After a lengthy pause for Waterloo’s Serena Brema ,who was stretchered off, Valkyries regained momentum.
Again, they attacked the blindside, this time from a scrum inside the Waterloo 22 and Cox powered her way over the tryline.
After a very stop-start game which followed for the next 15 minutes, Valkyries could have added another score.
Moore intercepted on halfway and kicked deep into the Waterloo 22 but the visitors gathered possession under heavy Valkyries pressure.
After a few phases, Waterloo broke through Perris-Redding who ran in to extend the lead.
Valkyries finished the first-half well, however. Edging forward, Waterloo conceded a penalty which was converted by Foxwell to close the gap to five at the break.
After the break, however, Stott added another penalty to restore Waterloo’s eight-point cushion.
Just before the hour-mark, Temple then ran in under the posts to take the visitors to 23 points.
This didn’t discourage Roy Davies’ side, however, as the final quarter of the game showed.
Off the back of a few penalties, Valkyries were able to punch their way into the Waterloo 22 and assert themselves on the visitors.
With Valkyries going phase through phase, the Waterloo defence were sucked in leaving Leatherland out wide to finish in the corner.
Valkyries stayed on the front foot after the restart and were back into Waterloo territory minutes later.
After some strong set pieces, the momentum culminated as the visitors couldn’t stop Bennion from driving her way over. Vicky Foxwell then kicked a tough conversion to bring the game to within a point.
- Valkyries winger Lydia Thompson scored a hat-trick of tries, all in the second half, to help England defeat Ireland 37-15 in their final Quilter International of the autumn at Twickenham on Saturday.