History has been made as Stornoway Rugby Club hosted their first-ever women’s match on home soil on Saturday in what is living evidence of the rapid-growth of women’s rugby.
A squad of 20 talented women booted up, pulled the club colours over the heads, slipped in their gum shields and crossed the painted white line and launched themselves into sporting battle at Bayhead to become Stornoway’s first ever women’s team to officially compete under the banner of Stornoway Rugby Club on home soil.
Regardless of the result the women catapulted themselves into the club history books forever as a milestone of the oval-ball game and the women involved have vowed this is far from a one-off.
The women’s wing of Stornoway Rugby Club are now a firmly established part of the club with high hopes for the future – buoyed of course with a 100 per cent win ratio after their away day successes in recent weeks and this historic win on home turf in front of a massive crowd of supporters.
After a year of hard work, recruiting, and training, the women laced up and took to the turf basking in the warm glow of sparkling sunshine – fitting on such a historic occasion.
Early on the weight of the occasion looked to be weighing heavily on the ladies who were understandably nervous in the early stages.
Inside the opening ten minutes the shellshocked hosts conceded two tries through some excellent play from their pacey backs.
But Stornoway rallied, regrouped and refocused and began using their forwards to challenge the Huntly pack and the strong driving play of Siobhan Dawson, Holly Strathmore and Joanna Macaskill in particular, took them into the Huntly 22 for the first time.
This seemed to settle the side and from then on they dominated possession and territory, denying Huntly of ball for all but rare spells.
The try which broke the deadlock of history as the first ever on home soil by a Stornoway lady was touched down by Alison Venters.
Courtney Gilles and Eallie Nicleod and a brilliant try by the speedy Georgie Amor, who produced a majestic second-half performance, and one conversion from Leanne Maclean sealed the victory for Stornoway.
Huntly did score a second half try to keep them in the match but it was a fantastic display by the girls, enjoying being able to put into practice all the skills they have learned from their coaches over the past year.
On this evidence, Stornoway’s wonder women can go look ahead to their future in the game with bubbling confidence. They reacted with mental steel to a try by the visitors in the second half, whereas many other teams on such a historic occasions might have caved in.
Thanks to Iain Macdonald for the pictures from the rugby matches at the weekend.