By Lee Clow and Harrison Kidd
A LAST-GASP try from Amy Evans earned the University of South Wales a dramatic 20-17 victory over the University of Gloucestershire.
Second-half tries from Emily Pratt, Lauren Read and match-winner Evans overturned a 12-point deficit established by the visitors.
Gloucester started off the brighter and following a good defensive block, Daisy French was able to score the first try of the game, converted by Avy Devgun. s
Pratt proved to be a threat for USW in the first half as she created the first try for her side via a forceful run and off-load to Evans who touched down in the 31st minute.
But Devgun dealt Mark Hutton’s side a late first-half blow as she assisted left-wing Vanessa Longdon-Hughes in Gloucestershire restoring their lead. The outside-half ran towards 40 metres after intercepting a pass on halfway before off-loading a fine pass to her team mate.
Gloucestershire extended their lead early in the second-half when Gemma Schrader crossed to make it 5-17 after good build-up play down the right-hand side. But the visitors failed with the conversion, giving USW faint hope of what looked an unlikely comeback.
Following Schrader’s try, USW began to mount attacks as they began their revival. Pratt, who was the home sides brightest spark in the first half, continued to showcase her quality and almost immediately broke through to score.
The Gloucestershire defence that had been so strong for much of the game, began to show signs of weakness late in the second half as USW began piling on huge pressure.
That pressure soon became too much as Read bundled the ball over the try line to reduce the deficit to two points.
With the clock ticking, it looked like USW were going to just fall short as Gloucestershire tightened up at the back making it harder for the home side to mount a late push.
However, after good desire and determination, Evans managed to break through and forced the ball over the line in the final minute to score her second try of the game and complete USW’s heroic comeback.
A victory and a fantastic second-half performance by USW will certainly give them huge confidence for their next game when they host Bournemouth at the Sport Park.