Cornwall become first side to reach Gill Burns Women’s County Championship

Kent are preparing for another huge weekend in the Gill Burns Women’s County Championship
Kent are preparing for another huge weekend in the Gill Burns Women’s County Championship

Cornwall became the first side to book their place in the Gill Burns Women’s County Championship Division 2 semi-finals after beating Oxfordshire 57-0.

Somerset Women pulled out of the competition earlier in the week, meaning the game became a knock-out match with the winner guaranteed a place in the next stage.

And Cornwall coach Jo Holden was delighted to see her side progress.

She said: “What is most satisfying is that they went through the plays we have been working on to the letter.

“It’s a great score today but there are some areas to work on ahead of our semi-final.

“The other pleasing aspect was when we brought on the bench, the level didn’t drop we maintained our physicality and our systems perfectly, great credit to the girls.”

Yorkshire will hope for more of the same against Leicestershire this weekend after recording an emphatic win over North Midlands in their opening game in Division 1 Pool 1.

The Division 1 Pool 1 leaders beat North Midlands 65-0 at Huddersfield RFC last weekend, leaving them a point ahead of second-place side Lancashire in the table.

Lancashire were pushed all the way by Leicestershire in their first game, eventually coming out on top 24-22 in a nail-biting encounter at Birstall RFC.

North Midlands and Lancashire will go head-to-head in this weekend's other game in Pool 1.

In Division 1 Pool 2, Surrey began their campaign with a 31-7 victory over Gloucestershire.

They are bidding to maintain their perfect start with a win over Berkshire at Esher RFC on Sunday.

Buckinghamshire can also make it two wins from two after they stormed to a 25-5 triumph over Berkshire last time out.

They face a trip to Cheltenham RFC to take on Gloucestershire.

In Division 2 Pool 1, Cheshire will get their campaign underway with a trip to Alnwick RUFC to face Northumberland.

The hosts will be looking to bounce back from a 64-0 defeat against Durham in their opening game.

With only three teams in the pool, Durham won't be in action this week, but a victory for Cheshire would set up a winner-takes-all clash between the two teams in the third game week.

Hampshire will also look to build on their strong start this weekend when they face Sussex away from home in Division 2 Pool 2.

They recorded a convincing 66-0 triumph over Essex while Sussex fell to defeat in their first game of the pool stages, beaten 27-15 in Brighton by Kent, who will now host Essex at the Jack Williams Memorial Ground.

Eastern Counties can make it two wins from two with a victory over Hertfordshire at Shelford RFC on Saturday in Division 2 Pool 3.

They beat East Midlands 29-5 in their opening game, but their opponents will be eager to get some points on the board after a closely fought 15-12 defeat to Warwickshire in the first game of their cup campaign.

Having also won on the opening weekend, Warwickshire will also be looking to maintain their perfect start when they host East Midlands at Coventry RFC.

Division 3 Pool 1 will see Notts Lincs & Derby get their campaign underway at home against Staffordshire, with the visitors eager to bounce back from their loss last week.

Staffordshire fell to a 41-17 defeat on home soil against Cumbria last weekend, meaning they need a win to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.

With just three teams in the pool, a win for Notts Lincs & Derby would mean the winner of next week's game between themselves and Cumbria will progress to the final.

Devon can guarantee a spot in the other semi-final with a win away at Dorset & Wilts on Saturday in Division 3 Pool 2.

They beat Middlesex 56-5 in the opening game and, with only three teams in the pool, can wrap things up this weekend.

Defeat will open the door for either Dorset & Wilts or Middlesex to progress out of the pool stages next weekend.

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