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Abbey Constable

Abbey Constable was on the score sheet for Lightning

Gwalia Lightning brush aside Warriors

Gwalia Lightning set up a mouthwatering Welsh derby with Brython Thunder with an emphatic 43-5 victory over Glasgow Warriors in  Round 7 of the Celtic Challenge at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, on Saturday afternoon.

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Lightning will finish their cross-border campaign when they travel to face Brython Thunder at Parc y Scarlets on Sunday, March 3, (KO:2.45pm). Both Welsh sides have warmed up with wins ahead of the all-Welsh play-off clash next weekend.

The Welsh derby will be the second game in a ‘Super Sunday double-header’, with Irish side Clovers facing Edinburgh rugby at the same venue (KO:12:30pm).

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Fly half Robyn Wilkins, skipper Bryonie King, impressive hooker Molly Reardon, who crossed for a brace, prop Abbey Constable, wing Katie Davies and full-back Rhodd Parry all crossed for tries in another impressive performance by the Welsh side.

Gwalia had won two of their five previous games in the new expanded Celtic Challenge tournament between sides from Ireland, Scotland and Wales but both teams were looking for a win in Belfast.

Lightning came into this game having recorded a 36-19 win over Glasgow at Cardiff Arms Park back in January, while the Warriors were still looking for their first win of the tournament.

Both sides tested each other out in a tense first quarter of the contest where the game swung either way on an afternoon with perfect conditions for rugby.

Lightning scrum-half Sian Jones and full back Parry come close to open the scoring before skipper King crashed over for the opening try.

Fly half Wilkins added the conversion to make it 7-0 to the Welsh side midway through the first half.

Lightning then scored one of the tries of the tournament with backs and forwards combining from one end of the field to the other before Wilkins crossed in the corner for the Welsh side’s second try.

The Warriors then showed what they were all about with a wave after wave of attack and Lightning lost second row Erin Jones to a yellow card and went down to 14 players but they hung on to go in 12-0 ahead at half-time.

After the break, Lightning extended their lead, when they were still down a player, when Hooker Reardon crossed from short-range to extend the Welsh side’s lead and Wilkins added the conversion.

Glasgow replied when giant second row Sophie Anderson carried over impressively from short-range after a period of sustained pressure to claw her side back to 19-5.

Welsh international prop Abbey Constable then crossed for the Lightning’s fourth and bonus-point try on the 54th minute. Wilkins added the extras to give the Welsh sides a 21-point lead.

Hooker Reardon then crossed for her second try when a superb lineout saw her crash over in the corner on the blindside to extend her side’s lead.

Wing Davies was then put over by scrum-half Jones for Lightning’s sixth try before full-back Parry showed lovely feet and crossed for Lightning’s final try to secure the victory.

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