‘We’ve really progressed this year’ says Harpenden boss as ladies continue to grow

Harpenden Ladies battled Welwyn in the sunshine at Redbourn Lane.

Harpenden Ladies battled Welwyn in the sunshine at Redbourn Lane. - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Ladies may have suffered a 70-34 defeat at home to Welwyn but head coach Scarlett Cooper-Wall is still delighted with the progress.

The defeat at Redbourn Lane saw Harps come up against an inspired performance from Welwyn’s Hannah Lloyd with the powerful and quick centre scoring an incredible nine of her team’s 10 tries.

And with both teams starting short-handed with just 11 players, there was plenty of space for her to exploit.

But the same applied to the hosts who themselves got six tries, Summer Clarke getting three, Jamielee Sullivan two and Charlotte Hamlyn-Williams one.

Jenny Hunnable also kicked two conversions and Cooper-Wall was elated at some of those scores as well as the way they battled to stop Lloyd running the show.

She said: “I was really impressed with our players and their work-rate. It wasn’t easy, especially when we went down to 10 playing on the same size pitch as you do for a 15s game.

“We’ve really progressed through this season and we scored some tries and some good team tries as well.

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“There was really good recognition throughout the game. Obviously they had a really good runner but we put in some double tackles and really cut down on the space when she had it.

“That shows we recognised the threat and stopped it before it happened.”

Harpenden continue to be a work in progress, with a real mix of ability and experience joining the club all the time.

But the feeling of togetherness is helping progress the squad to bigger and better results and performances.

The coach said: “You can really see on game days that everyone is joining in together and wants to work as hard as they can for each other.

“It’s just a shame we don’t get the competitive fixtures week in, week out, but as you can see when we get together there is a real team feel and we’re really integrated into the whole club.”

As for the coach herself, she is having almost as much fun as her players.

Hailing from the town, she is loving the fact the club has so many girls playing the sport.

She said: “When I was younger I didn’t have the opportunity to play for Harpenden so dare I say it but I went over to OAs to play.

“But as soon as I heard about the women’s and girls section here I wanted to get involved.

“I’ve been in and around since it started three years ago and I absolutely love it.”