DROMORE Ladies Rugby team, who are now known as the Hawks, played a very entertaining and end to end game of rugby against Newry on Saturday 10 November at Dromore Leisure Centre.
The Hawks have only been in training since late August and up to this point none of the 14 side panel had played any rugby in their lives.
Dromore received the ball from Newry and the first ruck was contested by both teams with Newry getting the upper hand and swiftly passed the ball along the well informed backs to score a try in the corner.
Dromore’s scrum half Julie Ann Quigg put the home team deep into the corner with her well struck right boot and the end to end game of rugby took place for the next 25 minutes.
Dromore Ladies dominated in the line out and gave quick ball to the find of the season Dromore’s out half Darcy Bussell who danced her way through several tackles before off loading the ball to winger Tammy Montgomery who was thwarted from scoring by Newry.
Her sister Shelly, who was on the other wing, came into the line constantly and provided several try saving tackles when Newry threatened the Dromore line.
However just before the break Newry took a quick penalty and charged over the line for a score.
Adeline McCrum took over kicking duties in the second half which gave the Hawks a lift as she expertly dropped the ball in behind the Newry defence at every opportunity. Great mauling from Clair Kidd and Clare Allen saw the pack dominate in the middle of the park but inconsistent passing let the side down and Newry scored beside the posts which turned out to be the last score of the game.
Superb efforts from Kendra and Julia in the scrum and lose ball stopped the away side scoring more tries by a well drilled Newry side who are in the Qualifying League.
Full back Leanne Montgomery whose sisters are the wingers in this team played her part in kicking for touch and great talking when Newry were sure to score in the corner.
Sandra Morton Dromore Ladies first ever captain said, “We were all a little worried about today but the training and encouragement from our coaches has made it a very enjoyable day.
“I would like to thank all our family’s and supporters for coming to the leisure centre at short notice and supporting the Hawks on this historic day in the life of Dromore Rugby Club.
“I would also like to thank Alec Morton the Clubs Vice President for his encouraging words to me and the team and to Dromore’s youngest player, Katy Bradshaw, for presenting us with the match ball - hopefully one day we will see Katy and her friends playing for the Ladies rugby team and maybe representing Ulster or Ireland in the years that are ahead of us, as Ladies Rugby in Ulster flourishes every season”.
Sandra added, “We have been building up to this match since we started training in late August and every session has been a learning curve but also great fun as Nigel and Ian make our training sessions hard but enjoyable.
“When a group of girls get together with two men being in the minority there’s not a night that goes by that I’m sorer from laughing than the hard tackles or rucking practise we do.
“I would encourage all women and girls to come to our training sessions to get rid of the stresses and have a laugh every Monday night, 7-8.30pm at Dromore Rugby Club.”
The Hawks played a great game of rugby and a few more ladies were seen talking to their coaches Nigel Dale and Ian Pollard after the game which means more recruits to Dromore Rugby Club.
Your roving reporter saw a sizable crowd watch the game at the Leisure centre and few of the men’s first team also supporting their lady colleagues led by captain Lee Steenson who said it was a good game to watch.
Let’s hope we see more from this ladies team up on the Hill in the years to come - it will be good to see how the ladies fare with the windy conditions up there and this reporter would like to be close to the watering hole as well.
Well played ladies.