North Midlands Women launched their Gill Burns County Championship campaign with a 17-3 win over East Midlands at Biggleswade today.
A squad that included only four players with previous county experience settled quickly and set themselves up nicely for two home matches against Lancashire and Durham in the next two weeks.
North Midlands took the lead with an eighth minute try from Harper Adams University prop Christine Lofthouse-Pratt which gave them important early impetus.
East Midlands responded with a penalty before half-time but North Midlands sealed victory with a burst of 12 points in five minutes early in the second half.
Worcester Valkyries wing Thea Thomson crossed for an unconverted try followed by her club-mate, fly-half Beth James who also landed the conversion.