Ormskirk Ladies Rugby XV
ORMSKIRK LADIES XV claimed their first piece of silverware of the new season when they won the inaugural Southport Rugby 10s Festival.
The ambitious team, who celebrate their 20th anniversary this season, swept the opposition teams away with some devastating attacking play backed up with robust defence.
Ormskirk’s captain, Keisha Hendricks said: “I was so proud of the players today. Everyone played their part in this and I think we probably shocked a few teams.”
Coach John Foster gave full debuts to back-rower Selina Makin and full back Vicky Irwin and was delighted with the team’s performance. He commented: “Selina had to play out of position today and acquitted herself superbly in the centres. She was a constant threat and showed some nifty footwork and running lines which bamboozled the opposition. Vicky is a tremendous strike player and I’m looking to build on her kicking game throughout the season. She was our top try scorer yesterday, so I’m pretty sure she will remember her debut.”
Southport hosted teams from Kendal, Tyldesley and Preston Grasshoppers with the objective of giving local teams a pre-season competition to prepare them for the league programme that begins on September 15 away at Kendal.
Ormskirk won all their games convincingly, conceding only two tries throughout the afternoon, a factor that certainly pleased the coach. He said: “We have worked hard in training on our defensive shape and that held up pretty well. Our forwards worked really hard allowing our experienced halfbacks Anna O’Malley and Jenny Leitch to dominate proceedings. It was a long day for the players but they maintained the intensity right up to the last game.”
Vice-Captain Sophie Higgins was delighted with the team spirit. She said: “It’s great to be back playing with such a brilliant squad. Everyone helped each other out today and I can’t wait for the season to begin.”
Ormskirk RUFC’s MD Gwen Bleasdale said: “Everyone at the club is delighted for the team. This is the best possible start to the season. The number of women coming to training is growing each week and we are all looking forward to supporting them in the new season.”
The team’s next match is the pre-season friendly against last season’s league winners, the newly promoted Preston Grasshoppers and the game is expected to be a classic encounter. The game kicks off at 2.30pm on Sunday, September 8 at Green Lane.