Warriors Women suffered a scrappy 20-8 defeat at the hands of Loughborough Lightning in the Allianz Premier 15s at a rain swept Sixways Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Caity Mattinson’s try for Warriors nine minutes from time gave the hosts hope of securing a losing bonus-point but Loughborough dug in to seal the win and cement their place in the top four of the league.

It was a frantic opening quarter that saw both sides struggle to deal with the rain and wind swirling around the stadium but it was the visitors who eventually took command of the game.

After a scoreless 20 minutes, Lightning's Helen Nelson finally opened the scoring with a penalty to make it 0-3.

Warriors had a golden chance to respond five minutes later when Sioned Harries crashed through the Loughborough defensive line before the ball was moved out wide to Zoe Heeley, who with the try line in her sights, could not keep hold of the ball and knocked it on much to her dismay.

Encouraging signs in attack despite the lack of field position, Warriors had to be strong in defence too and repelled another Lightning driving maul just after the half hour mark to keep the deficit at 3-0.

But despite their best efforts, the away side did manage to touch down for the first try of the afternoon right on the stroke of half-time when Lightning's Abbie Brown crossed after some excellent interplay from Lloyd and Rachel Malcolm.

Lloyd turned from provider to scorer immediately after break, the wing sliding over in the far corner following a slick attacking move which left Warriors 13-0 down.

Vicky Foxwell cut the gap to 13-3 with a penalty on 43 minutes to reduce the deficit before hitting the post with another effort on 50 minutes.

Lightning began to take control of the game thereafter and scored another try three minutes later through , which Nelson converted to see the lead grow to 3-20.

Loughborough went up the other end to double their try-scoring tally through Emma Hardy three minutes later.

The centre broke through Warriors’ rearguard at will to dot down under the posts, with Nelson adding the extras to extend the visitors’ lead to 20-3.

From the restart Loughborough were penalised for offside following a knock-on, which gave Warriors some attacking momentum in the shape of a driving lineout.

The heave was on after clean ball at the lineout, but despite trundling the ball towards the try line, Loughborough managed to halt Warriors in their progress and cleared the ball away from danger.

Not deterred by Loughborough’s steely defensive display, Warriors managed to conjure up a try thanks to summer signing Caity Mattinson, who’s quick tap penalty gave her the opportunity to burrow through for her first score for the club.

Foxwell was unable to convert Mattinson’s score, with Warriors trailing 20-8 going into the dying embers of the match.

Warriors continued to press forward in search of another try, but Lightning stood firm to the heavy pressure and secured the win.

Warriors now turn their attention to their Round 6 fixture at Sale Sharks Women in a fortnight but can take heart from a spirited showing against a talented Lightning outfit.