READING Abbey Nuns lost for the first time this season in South West Two, going down to unbeaten table-toppers Newbury 18-5 in a cracking advertisement for the women’s game.

The game started with a real statement of intent from the home side when putting in a solid hit on Mel Murphy, who was on debut for the Nuns.

Newbury forced an early mistake from the Nuns, but it played to the strength of the visitors’ pack who dominated much of the scrum contest throughout the game.

Early mistakes from both side littered the opening exchanges, but this led to Annette Tomas (above) making the most of the constant back-and-forth action by spotting a gap in-between the Newbury centres and running clean through to score an almost length-of-the-field try.

The following kick-off gave Newbury a chance to show off their excellent press defence and work the Nuns hard, eventually forcing a turn over and by strong running from their pack, forcing themselves into the Nuns 22.

This is where they remained camped for large periods of the first half, taking advantage of pressure penalties conceded and putting their first points of the day on the board through a penalty.

Newbury constantly threatened to put more points on the scoreboard, but they were not clinical in their finishing, knocking the ball on multiple times.

However, they did move in front before the interval, working a two-on-one opportunity in the corner for an easy score.

The second half went much the same way as the first, with Newbury like a snake slowly suffocating its prey, forcing Nuns into mistakes and pouncing on every opportunity to turnover the ball and attack a tiring side.

They were made to work for the further two tries they added, but it seemed all too much for a Nuns side whose heroic first-half defence had taken its toll.