Glasgow Warriors 10-29 Clovers
A battling performance from Glasgow Warriors ended in a 29-10 defeat at the hands of the Clovers at Scotstoun this afternoon, as an impressive second-half display from the home side ultimately proved in vain in round four of the Celtic Challenge.
Tries from Izzy Hannay and Beth Blacklock – on her club debut – were the least the Warriors deserved, throwing everything at their visitors until the final whistle.
On a crisp January afternoon in Glasgow’s west end, it was the visitors who would be the first to trouble the scorers. A pinpoint cross-kick from Kate Flannery landed squarely in the arms of Clare Gorman, the winger’s pass inside sending full-back Meabh Dealy over the whitewash for the score. Flannery’s kick was on target, and the Clovers led 7-0 after four minutes.
The Irish outfit had started proceedings brightly, and whilst great defence from Ailie Tucker and Blacklock would prevent a quickfire second score, the Warriors were powerless to prevent the visitors from adding to their lead on nine minutes. Dorothy Wall was the one to be driven over the line, getting the ball down despite the best efforts of Holland Bogan and Lucy Winter to extend the lead to 12-0 in the Clovers favour.
Back would come the Warriors, however, with debutant Blacklock and Lucy MacRae combining to impressive effect in the midfield to break into the Clovers 22. Only a professional foul from Abby Salter-Townshend prevented Glasgow from crossing for a try of their own, the Clovers scrum-half earning 10 minutes in the sin-bin for her troubles.
Determined to make their numerical advantage count, the Warriors immediately went on the offensive. Good interplay between Mairi and Carla McDonald almost freed Sky Phimister on the wing, whilst Nikki Simpson and Ailie Tucker enjoyed success with the more direct route of carrying in the midfield.
Instead, however, it was the Clovers who struck next following the restoration of Salter-Townshend to the action. A squint-looking lineout was given the benefit of the doubt 15 metres from the Glasgow line, with the Irish side neatly working a lineout set-play to send Beth Buttimer over in the corner. Flannery couldn’t add the extras, but the visitors led 17-0.
Once again, the visitors would back up one score by quickly adding another. Quick ball and subtle handling allowed Ivana Kiripati to hit the line at pace, Flannery converting her number eight’s try for a 24-0 lead after 33 minutes.
Yet Glasgow’s efforts wouldn’t go unrewarded, as Chris Laidlaw’s team hit back with a well-deserved try on the stroke of half-time. Sustained pressure on the Clovers 22 eventually allowed Blacklock to slip the offload to an onrushing Hannay, the openside sprinting clear from the 22 for a try cheered to the rafters by the Warrior Nation.
That try seemingly spurred the Warriors into even brighter action at the start of the second stanza, with Bogan thinking she had added to her side’s tally only for the officials to deem her effort as held up. Winter was also looking lively on both sides of the ball, making a 20 metre line break before acting as one of four defenders to hold up Ailsa Hughes’ charge for the line.
The visitors weren’t to be denied for long, however. An overlap inside the Glasgow 22 was picked off to perfection, with Brianna Heylmann cutting inside the covering defender to touch down. The conversion dropped short, but the Clovers held a 29-5 lead at the hour mark.
Glasgow were in no mood to throw in the towel, though, and their continued efforts were once again rewarded three minutes later. The two newest Warriors would combine to devastating effect, Megan Hyland starting the move by springing off the back of a scrum with her first touch. Her pass was perfectly timed to hit Blacklock on a thundering line, the centre proving too fast and too strong for the Clovers defence. The conversion drifted wide in the breeze, leaving the score at 29-10 to the visitors.
Despite the Warriors throwing everything at their visitors, however, that would be the final act of scoring on a competitive afternoon at Scotstoun. As the Warrior Nation rose to acclaim their team at the full-time whistle, attentions on the field now turn to next weekend’s trip to Wales, as a clash with Brython Thunder awaits in round five.