- First ever Cumbria Women’s County Cup highlights growth of women’s game
- Carlisle Cougars defeat Kendal Wasps to take the trophy
Photo: RFU Archive
Carlisle Cougars are celebrating making history – having been crowned champions in the inaugural Cumbria Women’s County Cup.
The Cougars proved worthy winners in Friday evening’s final (April 11) at Keswick RFC, defeating Kendal Wasps 71-7 to get their hands on the trophy.
Carlisle have been well established for some time, and will next season celebrate their 20th year of playing. But, up to now, they have faced long journeys to find opposition – so the arrival of a new side, the Kendal Wasps, has been a big boost to the county.
Kendal were formed just 18 months ago and have just completed their first season of league rugby. With a women’s side also having been formed recently in Workington, it is a positive sign that the sport is going from strength to strength in the region.
Katie Harper, women and girls’ representative for Cumbria RFU, said: “Real steps are being made in the development of women’s and girls’ rugby in Cumbria at the moment.
“This year represents the start of what should be a growing competition for the sport in the county. It has given both clubs a focus, and is raising the competitive spirit. The support the county has given the women’s game this year in Cumbria is really paying off, and this competition should crucially raise the profile of the game at this key time.”
Carlisle dominated Friday’s final from the first whistle as they ran in 11 tries in total. Try scorers were Vicky Parker (2), Hannah Sherlock (2), Ceri Storer (2), Lucy Meadley, Kati Brown, Lisa Ritchie, Holly Freestone and Bethan Lloyd. Ritchie, who kicked excellently all night, added eight conversions.
Caroline Clutterbuck replied for Kendal, with Abby Bland adding the conversion.
Lucy Meadley from Carlisle was awarded player of the match for a dominant ball carrying display.
Despite the scoreline the game was a credit to both sets of players, many of whom will now become teammates for the next six weeks as part of the Cumbria Women’s County squad. They will play fixtures against Northumberland, Durham and Cheshire.