CENTRE Alice Denton was the star of the show on Sunday when Reading Abbey Nuns made it two from two in Championship South West with a convincing 26-10 home win over Devon-based outfit Cullompton, with Denton scoring 21 of the points herself.

After an easy victory over Teddington the week before, it was the Nuns who struggled to make their mark on the game, allowing Cullompton to play much of the first quarter inside their half.

Frantic play from the home side resulted in long periods of defence, but it was crucial tackles from full-back Caz Shephard and wing Karen Pacho which denied Cullompton the score.

However, it was the Devon side who notched up the first points on the board however, with a penalty from fly-half Charlotte Green to nose ahead.

Undeterred and patient, the Nuns regrouped and it was Denton who started and finished a move, interspersed with strong carries from Natalie Mitchell, Meag Fowler and Annabel Hawkins, which resulted in the Nuns' first try to close out the first half.

The second half saw a renewed Nuns' side take to the pitch, whose good pre-season preparation and fitness came to the fore in the heat.

Intelligent kicking from fly-half Annette Bevan pinned Cullompton back inside their own half, coupled with an increase in the intensity of the Nuns' defence.

Finally, the hosts were enjoying front-foot rugby and a series of strong forward carries eventually released Denton for her second and third tries, expertly distributed by scrum-half Ellie Rice, who was playing her 50th league game for the side.

As Cullompton tired, the Nuns were hungry for more and wing replacement Precious Ampontuah was unlucky to not score after showcasing her excellent footwork twice.

After yet another excellent line-out catch from Mitchell, Bevan was able to release centre Hayley Matthews, who was hauled down metres from the line.

A quick tap penalty from skipper Bevan resulted in her side's fourth try, and Denton's third conversion of the day.

Speaking after the game, head coach Lewis Jones said: "The performance in the first quarter was not our usual standard, but the team pulled together and problem solved well; something we as a coaching team have been working hard to instill during pre-season.

"There was good leadership from the more experienced players and the youngsters have really stepped up to bridge the gap between age grade and senior rugby.'