Ormskirk Ladies took a step nearer the League and Cup double with a hard fought 48-19 win in a pulsating game against a highly efficient and spirited Kendal at Green Lane on Sunday.
Ormskirk leapfrogged second-placed Kendal to take the League title and gain promotion to North 2 in this pulsating game filled with high octane attacking play this week and they are now looking forward to playing in the Cup Final, too.
Kirk Ladies, who this year celebrate their 20th anniversary, are one of the most established women’s rugby teams in the north west, will be aiming for a league and cup double when they take on Medway Ladies from Kent at Lichfield RUFC on Saturday.
It has been a remarkable season for the ambitious team, who recently were given a brand new playing kit by an anonymous benefactor.
Player numbers have grown significantly and the squad boasts a mixture of experienced player and “rookies”, a term used for those new to the game.
Club captain Keisha Hendricks went on to explain: “Our players come from all walks of life, we have teachers, office workers, care assistants, a doctor and of course lots of students from universities and colleges.
You can follow us on twitter @ormskirkladies #bandofsisters. Rugby is a totally inclusive game, literally anyone can play it and I’d encourage any women out there to come and give this sport a try.
We have recently set up a Girls Rugby Section at Ormskirk, they are our #bandoflittlesisters and they are coming to support us at the Cup Final on Saturday.”
Team Manager Lou Prescott, who had played Premiership rugby against some of the best teams in the country, remembers playing in Ormskirk’s first ever game: “We’ve certainly had some ups and downs along the way, but this season has been one of my favourites.
“It’s been very special indeed and we are all very excited about winning the league.
“To have the chance to play in a Cup Final is an amazing opportunity and there is a real buzz of anticipation at training.”
The coaching team of John Foster and Phil Cadman believes that much of the success can be attributed to the ‘Player Experience’ at Ormskirk: “We try to create a positive and supportive environment at the club where our players can learn from each other without fear of failure or criticism. We try to make sure that everyone gets game time so we all feel involved.
“Ormskirk RUFC have been extremely supportive of Women’s Rugby and I know all the girls feel valued by the club which is vitally important.
“The club has recently rebuilt the changing rooms and showers and many more improvements are in the pipeline.
“We’d also like to thank Paul Reid and Edge Hill University for allowing us to train alongside their University teams this season.
“Edge Hill has a state of the art training facility and this has meant we have not had to cancel any training sessions all year.
“Paul himself has given up some of his own time to take some guest coaching sessions for the Ormskirk Ladies, and on one occasion we even had England Women’s forwards coach Graham Smith down at Edge Hill to lead a session for us.
“These are examples of a positive ‘Player Experience’ and that’s what has set Ormskirk apart from other rugby clubs and other sports this year.”
Phil Cadman denied that there would be any special focus at training in preparation for Saturday’s Cup Final.
He said: “No, we’ll not be making any major changes this week. We’ll have a light training session on Thursday to make sure everyone is comfortable with their role.
“It’s not about learning lots of complicated moves, we encourage our players to recognise the options around them and to make decisions accordingly and you know what? We’re getting quite good at that now.”
You can send the team messages of support in their quest for a League and Cup double via their twitter feed @ormskirkladies #bandofsisters