ELLIE WHITTLES’ side gained five points in the league table even before the match kicked off at Footes lane last Sunday.
On the pitch, GLR put a 100 past the visitors, not that it really mattered what the score was given the circumstances.
Sadly, Witney had been decimated by injuries and lack of availability and were unable to field a trained front row so had to concede the game.
Despite efforts to rearrange the fixture there was no choice but for Witney to turn up with 11 players or face financial penalties from the RFU and the prospect of automatic relegation at the end of the season.
In the face of those circumstances GLR agreed to play a friendly with our club being in the enviable position of being able to loan a complete front row and two backs to Witney so a 15 a-side friendly could take place.
A huge thanks just go to those volunteers who played for Witney. They were Janelly Le Maitre, Sophie O’Connell, Jillian Smith, Charly Alston and Laura Fry.
GLR were still able to field a strong squad, which made a huge difference in the final 20 minutes as they had been able to rotate players maintaining a high work rate throughout the game, whereas Witney who did most of the defending were obviously running out of steam in the final quarter.
Even though it as a friendly and there were GLR players on both teams no quarter was given and despite GLR seemingly being able to run tries in at will, giving a demonstration of both forward power and skillful handling in the backs was shown. Ten players made the score sheet for GLR with Lucy Pratt, Laura Sweeney, Vicki Rang, Tanya Scholtz, and Daisy Travers grabbing a brace of tries each, Carly Parrott scoring a hat trick and Hannah Guilbert, Justeen Baker and Jessica Melville getting one each.
Vicki Rang kicked 13 conversions.
An important aspect of the game was the strength in depth that GLR now has available particularly in the front row where they were effectively able to field three complete competitive front rows, which bodes well for the future.
This was GLR’s last game before Christmas, the next fixture is away to Reading on the 6th of January.
Squad: 1. Andrea Harris 2. Michelle Schofield 3. Laura Sweeney 4. Ellie Whittles capt. 5. Kristine Vavere 6. Fiona Power 7. Jessica Melville 8. Daisy Travers 9. Lucy Pratt 10. Justeen Baker 11. Sophie Ferbrache 12. Hannah Guilbert 13. Vicki Rang 14. Aimee Le Bachelet 15. Lael Hollingworth Replacements: Minna Gallienne, Tanya Scholtz, Carly Duchemin, Anneka Saunders.