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!!...ONE DAY TO GO...!!

!!...ONE DAY TO GO...!!

Stuart Perry11 May - 05:46
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KO | 3:00PM
Fifty years ago, when Lichfield rugby club was celebrating its centenary, housed in its basic, yet homely, wooden clubhouse in Boley Lane, running adult male and mini sides (8-12 year olds) only, the idea of one of the club’s teams playing a competitive game at Twickenham would have been viewed as utter pie in the sky. On this coming Sunday at 3:00pm, that pie will descend onto the vast green hybrid grass pitch at the HQ of England RFU when the Ladies’ 1st XV stakes its claim to win the national Papa John’s Intermediate Cup Final against Old Albanians II from Hertfordshire.
Molly Stewart will have the honour of leading her team out on what promises to be a warm afternoon in London, for their final competitive game of an unbeaten season. The Red team, as it is known, has already beaten Old Albanians IIs twice in league games, the most recent by 17 points to 12 in mid March, so they know the extent of the challenge confronting them this weekend. The league campaign could not have gone much better, winning eleven games, with one conceded, scoring a massive 454 points and only 69 were managed in total by their opposition. That kind of all round capability will be needed this Sunday. It was only really in the semi final of this cup competition that they were severely tested – no bad thing to have to dog it out – as they achieved a 15-12 win at Liverpool St Helens, also unbeaten at that stage.
The side is primarily coached by Fraser Goatcher and Kai Lucas-Dumolo, both of whom either play or have played for this Club’s Men’s 1st XV, and they are managed by Molly Sanghera. Between them, they have created one big happy family amongst the adult players and the ever increasing number of girls joining the club’s junior sides – soon to be four with an under 18s starting next season. The fact that the Women’s 2nd XV has also won its league unbeaten indicates just how much the squad has developed in the last two seasons. This follows a second massive rebuild in the past ten years.
After starting the Ladies’ section in 1991, the club had developed by the 2000s a very successful side, which rose to the top echelons of the then league structure and produced 28 full internationals at various stages, not just for the home nations, but also one Dutch and one Swedish representative. Sarah Hunter, the well known England captain and World cup winner, was a member of this club for several seasons, and current England internationals Mo Hunt, Amy Cokayne and Emily Scarrett were part of the Red team when it was effectively broken up following the RFU decision to not let Lichfield become a Premiership side. So, a rebuild started and that improving side needed to be restarted two years ago after we agreed to release eighteen players to join Leicester Tigers in their bid to gain Premiership status.
The format of the weekend is that there are two plate finals on Saturday and then the women’s Junior cup final between Sheffield Tigers and Thurrock 2s starts at 1pm on Sunday, before the arrival on the pitch of the Lichfield team at 3pm. Entry to the game is FREE and an opportunity to see Lichfield play at Twickenham cannot be missed. There are coaches going from Cooke Fields on Sunday morning and breakfast is being served in the Clubhouse, however, you need to contact Molly at to book a seat as places are extremely limited at this late stage.
The Club is extremely proud of its Ladies’ Section, from their pioneering origins to the present day structure and culture….and we would like to wish all of the Matchday Team, entire Ladies Squad, Coaches, Parents and all of the faithful supporters, the very best of luck, and we hope you all have a fantastic day and experience….and of course hope that you bring back the Silverware to top off incredible seasons for both Senior Teams.
Please be aware that the annual Stephen Sutton ‘’Ride Out’’ is meeting up at the club on Sunday morning, involving hundreds of bikers, so the car park is going to be extremely full and busy if you can arrive before 10:00am and park up behind the Club Stand
Dave Lewis
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