READING Abbey Ladies brought the curtain down on their season with a bonus-point 44-14 victory over Loughborough Ladies, writes Fiona Tomas.

In the last of their Championship Plate fixtures, Abbey Nuns fielded a mixed side which consisted of both first-team stalwarts and second-team starters.

The combination yielded a flurry of maiden tries, including captain Joey Fowler and Lia Gingell.

There was also a successful return for Nuns stalwart Abi Wall, who, having suffered a gruelling ankle break during last years’ sevens season, racked up 60 minutes of solid game time in Abbey colours.

The flanker tracked a lethal attack from Alice Denton, who opportunistically off-loaded metres out to allow Wall to scamper over the whitewash.

While unavailability among Loughborough’s ranks meant both teams were reduced to 14 players, the change in restructure did little to unsettle the Nuns, who marked their final game of the season with their most convincing victory of the campaign.

First-half scores from Annette Tomas and Louisa Burgham propelled the Nuns into a 22-7 lead at the break, a minor lapse in concentration allowing the home side to gain a foothold in the game after a strong line from their inside centre clawed hope back for the Warwickshire outfit.

The second half saw the Nuns continue to adopt a new, relaxed brand of rugby where off-loads were aplenty and wide.

Expansive running rewarded the visitors with a further try from Meg Fowler, who crashed over the line to all but certify a Nuns victory.

A late Loughborough allowed the hosts to savour the final moments – but the intercepted try did little to dampen the Reading side’s spirits.