Ampthill Girls have been running now for two seasons and the progress of the U15 and U18 girls this season has been something to behold. Finding fixtures for the girls to play is tricky as there are clubs with girl’s sections fairly nearby, but you need to match up the levels of development to avoid mismatches. Simon Boyd from the RFU has been very helpful in
putting us in touch with clubs, so the U15’s played Bedford, Hitchin, Lutterworth, Market
Harborough and Bury St Edmunds this season in full competitive matches, making the all important rugby friends along the way.
The beginning of the season is structured to feed into the East Midlands season and in
October we entered 9 girls into the trials for U15’s and U18’s. Rebecca Petit, Bethan Scarr, Chloe Sherwood, Madeline Moore, Megan Parry, Megan Carter and Kayleigh Pitts from the U15 squad and Amy Tibbett and Alice Howells took part, with Madeline Moore, Megan
Carter, Megan Parry and Amy Tibbett making the respective squads. Most impressive is that Megan Carter and Amy Tibbett are in the younger age band of the groups; U15’s is years 9 and 10 and U18’s years 11, 12 and 13. The girls featured in the winning fixtures against Leicestershire, Notts, Lincs and Derby in November and put Ampthill Girls on the radar of East Midlands going forward, well done girls.
The second half of the season, saw the U15’s go on the road to test themselves against Lutterworth and Market Harborough, learning more about the game as they went. Only by
playing fixtures can you really know how to play rugby and although the results didn’t go
our way the girls learnt so much from the games, which continued their development. Bury
St Edmunds and Market Harborough came to Dillingham Park for a triangular mini tournament in April and Harborough took to bragging rights but not without a potential upset against Ampthill who raced to a 3 try lead before finally succumbing to Harborough’s power.
The final weekend of the season saw the Ampthill U15’s enter into the ‘Road to Rio 7’s’ at
Ipswich Rugby Club, the travel by coach kindly sponsored by the RFU. Ampthill were in Pool
B alongside Basildon, Welwyn and Beccles, all new clubs for us to face. Ampthill didn’t get
off to a great start against Basildon losing 27-5, but immediately bounced back against
Beccles winning 20-0 (the first competitive win for the team). They then lost a narrow game
against Welwyn 15-5 after taking an early lead. This threw the girls into the Shield
Competition and a thumping win against Diss 20-0 set up a return match in the final against
Beccles who beat the strong hosts Ipswich 25-0 in their Semi. The scene was set for the
defining moment of the girl’s rugby careers and they took the opportunity like a team with
renewed confidence, beating Beccles 20-5 to take the Shield and first piece of silverware for Ampthill girls.
The season has been an emotional rollercoaster for the girls, parents and coaches, topped
by the Ipswich win which now sets the U15’s and U18’s up for a season of more competitive
rugby against new rugby friends to look forward to in 2016/17.
Thanks to all involved especially the girls who have been fantastic all season, never giving up, and the parents for supporting us as we worked our way through the season.
Ian Scarr and Claire Pollendine, U15’s & U18’s Coaches