- Liverpool Medics take victory in first competitive game
- Team looking to fulfil at least five more fixtures by the end of the season
Liverpool Medics 37 – 10 Garstang Ladies
Photo: RFU Archive
Merseyside’s newest women’s rugby team, Liverpool Medics, excelled in their very first competitive game of rugby union at Sefton RUFC this month in front of a sizeable crowd impressed by the skills and enthusiasm on show.
The Medics rugby team, coached by Firwood Waterloo players Alessandra Lewis and Joanne Edwards, supported by RFU Coach John Foster, had been training at Sefton for two months and making a big impression.
“The girls have worked extremely hard to recruit players and have been training in all weathers” said Foster. “Many play other sports, including netball and Gaelic football, but they have adapted to rugby superbly well and are determined to join the RFU North Challenge 1 League next season”.
The Medics’ most experienced player and captain, Victoria Benyon, was forced to miss the opening game with a knee injury, but was thrilled by the team’s performance: “I don’t think anyone expected us to score any tries let alone win the game. It was a steep learning curve for the girls but they did brilliantly.”
Garstang Ladies, also aiming to join North Challenge 1 next season, played strongly throughout and in excellent spirit. The opening exchanges were fast and furious until the Medics’ powerful outside centre Emily Watts finished off a break from Ellen McGrath to score close to the posts, converted by full back Jess Roberts.
This injected confidence and it wasn’t long before fly half Emer O’Donnell broke free to score the first of her two tries, Garstang replying with a well-worked try of their own before the break.
In the second half Medics secured further tries from scrum half Nikita Duong, Sophie Dodds and a brace from Players Player of the Match Ellen McGrath but Foster was quick to praise the forwards saying, “The backs were magnificent but couldn’t have scored those tries if the forwards hadn’t been doing the hard graft. Tight-head Prop Neala Glynn and lock Nicola Murray played every minute of the game today and Rachael Doyle and Sabrina Costa were immense in the front row. Ruth Pye-Jones is so powerful with ball in hand and our back rowers Sophie Bird, Laura Kelsey and Amy Round tackled everything in sight.”
One of the highlights of the game was a virtuoso performance from inside centre Ellen McGrath, who fully deserved her Players’ Player of the Match Award for her strong running and tackling.
“The whole squad has enormous potential,” said Foster “but Ellen was outstanding. She has power and pace and an eye for a gap. She has a great future in the game but we must remember that we have some very fast and classy wingers in Fiona Howie, Clare Oliver, Hannah Newton, Yasmin Rajaei, Sam Fryer and of course Roisin Elliot… and we haven’t been able to get the ball to them yet!”
The Medics resume training on January 5, 2014 and hope to compete in at least five more fixtures before the end of the season.