National Rugby Awards – Drybrook Women’s XV in final 6
Congratulations are in order for our magnificent Women’s XV who have been selected to attend the National Rugby Awards at the Rose Room, Twickenham on Thursday 1st September.
After a week’s long deliberation for the internal selectors, reading the hundreds of entries they have finally selected the final 6 per category which were also announced in the Rugby Paper yesterday.
Drybrook Women’s XV has reached the final In the National Rugby Awards Female Team of the Year category 2016.
Each finalist will have one complimentary ticket to the evening whilst tickets and tables for friends/family and clubs to support are on sale now by visiting the this link: www.nationalrugbyawards.co.uk/collections/all
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From experience in 2015 the tickets will sell fast so it is recommended to book now to save the disappointment.
You can read Drybrook’s nomination opposite.
Drybrook RFC Ladies XV was reformed in 2013 after an eleven year gap when a concerted effort was made to re-establish the team through a vigorous recruitment campaign.
This was done in conjunction with the club’s girl’s section where a small number of the under 18’s team were looking to continue playing but had nowhere to go.
Although heavily defeated in their first game, the squad stuck together and developed their skills through well attended weekly sessions under the tuition of some of the club’s senior men’s players.
A big problem was the lack of opposition for friendly fixtures locally so the team was forced to travel long distances to play against much more experienced teams.
The team enjoyed a range of fixtures against varying strengths of opposition and on occasion has joined forces with other clubs just to get some game time. They have occasionally loaned players to opposition clubs to help out and even entered some all-male touch tournaments to gain experience.
They also had to resort to some non-rugby activities such as rounders, cycling and entering local fun runs just to keep the ladies together.
Nevertheless they kept up their enthusiasm and their hard work began to pay off as they gradually turned things around with a number of improved performances.
Along the way playing numbers increased from 18 at the start to around 30 players and everyone was ensured game time irrespective of talent or experience.
To keep up team spirit the Ladies also embarked on a series of social events and fund raising initiatives with the goal of entering the league set up in 2014/15.
It was with some trepidation that they met Ivel Barbarians in their first league game but against the odds they managed to win a very tight game.
They were brought down to earth in the next game against eventual champions Hornettes but continued to improve after that. Drybrook were just beaten to the title but they were more than satisfied with the runners-up spot and the promotion that followed.
For the 2015/16 season NC South West 1 proved a much more competitive league but they soon found themselves in a four way fight for the title with Oakmedians, Cullompton, and Ellingham, Ringwood and Tott.
Drybrook managed to defeat old adversaries Hornettes twice during the campaign and were always in contention for the title.
Alongside this Drybrook entered the National Junior Cup for the first time and in one of the early rounds managed to defeat Newent who had been their very first opponents two years before.
A terrific cup run followed and in April 2016 Drybrook had three season defining games over three consecutive week-ends.
First up was the cup semi-final at Bletchley which went down to the wire with Drybrook winning in the last minutes.
Next up was a winner takes all league encounter at Cullompton against a team who had beaten them earlier in the season. Drybrook held on to win by 7pts – 5pts and were duly crowned the league champions after an epic struggle.
The crowning glory was the final weekend when they overcame Barnsley in the National Junior Cup final to complete a fairy tale end to a wonderful campaign.
The Ladies team have become an integral part of Drybrook RFC in the last three years and have ambitious plans to start a second XV next season.
The knock on effect for the whole club has been huge with Sunday afternoons now an important and regular feature in the club’s calendar.