GUERNSEY have gone top of South East West 1 after a superb effort in front of the Garenne Stand on Sunday.
After three successive away games Ellie Whittles’ side were eager to show their improvements in front of family, friends and club diehards, and on a bitter afternoon they did not disappoint.
And being the only match of the weekend, the bonus-point victory lifted them a point above London Welsh Ladies and into the top slot.
Star of the show was Tanya Scholtz who powered over for a hat-trick of tries.
Conditions were poor with a strong, icy wind making it a tough day for kicking, but Guernsey kept the ball in hand the better, tackled impressively and had in Scholtz and Jessica Melville the two strongest runners on view.
Initially facing the elements, Guernsey were put under early pressure by a kick into the 22, but there was relief as Reading infringed at the breakdown and the home side were able to kick clear, although not far.
It took 10 minutes for the home side to reach halfway, but the moment was all too brief and it was soon back to defending
Ellie Whittles’ strong run from deep got Guernsey back to halfway and spurred on by the break, the ball was moved right to Scholtz who sprinted 40 metres to score between the posts.
In Jemma Crouse’s absence, Vicki Rang took on the kicking duties and the conversion was successful for a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Another score was just around the corner as Rang dived over from close range.
The same player’s kick struck the near post but a 12-0 lead after the early onslaught was a real confidence booster.
There was more excitement for the home crowd as Jessica Melville made a couple of superb runs from deep, her pace taking her fully 70 metres on the second occasion when she was hauled down just a yard short.
The attack brought a scrum close to the line, from which Melville burst clear and laid off for Pratt to dive over by the flag for a 17-0 lead at the break.
Guernsey opened the second half with a kick deep into the home 22 and with it immediately put Reading under pressure.
Reading defended resolutely for eight minutes but could do little to stop Scholtz’s five metre surge over the line which gave Guernsey a 22-0 lead.
Scholtz powered over once more but gutsy Reading kept plugging away and were rewarded with a late try.
It is already shaping up as a a three-way chase for the title with Portsmouth Valkyries looking ominous in third with three wins from three.
Guernsey will host Portsmouth Valkyries at home on Saturday. 1pm kick off on the Club Pitch.
Andrea Harris, Michelle Schofield, Daisy Travers, Tanya Scholtz, Kristine Vavere, Ellie Whittles (capt), Fiona Power, Jessica Melville; Lucy Pratt, Justeen Baker, Georgia Denziloe, Sophie Ferbrache, Vicki Rang, Aimee Gaudion, Lael Hollingsworth.
Replacements from: Asha Holberry, Sarah Woodington, Minna Gallienne, Sophie O’Connell, Anna Le Bachelet and Hannah Guilbert