CHELTENHAM LADIES 17 HOVE LADIES 7
CHELTENHAM Ladies head off for the Christmas break in winning form after victory against Hove sent them third in the Championship South One table.
However, they had to do it the hard way after battling against the odds after having a player sent off deep into the second half.
Cheltenham took control of the game in the first 15 minutes and were continuously attacking Hove in their half.
Forwards had the initial upper hand in the scrums against a much larger pack, turning over possession which gave the backs opportunity to execute their moves.
Unfortunately, the Tigers missed several scoring opportunities due to inaccurate passing.
The momentum of the game then moved in Hove's favour as Cheltenham struggled against a well-organised defence which restricted the backs from being able to move the ball out wide.
Hove were able to work their way into the game and kicked the ball into Cheltenham territory.
Winning ball off their own scrum, the Hove fly half cut through the midfield defence to score under the posts and the conversion was kicked bringing the score to 7-0 at half-time.
Cheltenham regrouped at half-time and made some impact substitutions which changed the pace of the game.
The Tigers forwards were making strong carries, punching holes in the Hove defence.
Winger Kim Drage then got her hands on the ball and handed off two defenders in her path before diving over the try line in the corner to put Cheltenham on the scoreboard.
Drage crossed the try line for a second time after centre Jo Hurd burst through the midfield and sprinted for the line.
Good support from the Tigers meant the ball was retained and moved quickly to the wing.
After some intense play, Cheltenham found themselves playing the remainder of the game with 14 players when a red card was received for foul play.
However, the Tigers character showed and their defence remained strong as it has done so far this season.
Against a tiring Hove team, Cheltenham used their game plan effectively and winger Kate Adams showed her pace running 20 metres and scoring under the posts and scrum-half Lisa Mansell converted.