Sport

Back-to-back promotions for Woldswomen

DRUFC Ladies skipper Lauren Fairbank was almost lost for words after her side secured back-to-back promotions thanks to an enthralling 30-19 victory over Carlisle Cougars.

The Woldswomen went into the contest knowing they needed a five-point victory and to keep the Cougars pointless to leapfrog the visitors and guarantee promotion from Women’s NC 1 North.

An opening day loss in Cumbria was Driffield’s only defeat of the season and they managed to exact revenge on Carlisle, running in five tries to their opponents’ three.

Fairbank, who took over the captaincy for the 2021/22 campaign, said: “I cannot explain what this result means to me.

“To lead this amazing group of women to back-to-back promotions is an immense privilege.

“To be able to provide a pathway for the juniors to aspire to is incredible.

“To be able to promote the game to a position that means the girls of the future might not face the same challenges we faced makes every challenge and bruise worth it. Women’s rugby was the winner today.

“A big thank you to the coaches, the club and all the supporters who turned out on Sunday.

“With you behind us, it made it extra special.”

DRUFC Ladies coach Richard Mitchell-Williams told the Wolds Weekly that he couldn’t be prouder of his team.

“We had to get five points, which made it tense all the way,” he said.

“There were so many scenarios that we could have actually won the game and not been promoted, which would have been hugely disappointing.

“However, the ladies really stuck in there and it was a tremendous effort, as it has been all season.

“Credit has to go to Ellie Harding for nailing those two penalties under pressure, particularly the one from 40 metres.

“I can’t say any more other than I am super proud of the whole squad.”

DRUFC president Dave Dinsdale, said that the achievement was ‘out of this world’.

“The standard of rugby played by the ladies, not just on Sunday, but as a season on the whole, has been fantastic,” he said.

“They are a good side to watch and it showed with the size of the crowd there against Carlisle.

“To achieve back-to-back promotions is out of this world.

“The ladies section is a major part of our club and every one of them involved understands the ethos of rugby.

“Credit to them all, as well as the brilliant coaching team of Mitch, Sam Beachell and Rob Murray.”

Patrick Burdass, chairman of rugby at DRUFC, said that the Woldswomen are a credit to the club.

He said: “It’s a great achievement for the ladies, particularly when it has been a stop/start season for them.

“Teams have dropped out of their league and there has been uncertainty some weeks as to whether they would be playing.

“They often went weeks without playing and there is a tendency for people’s thoughts to wander away from the game in that situation.

“However, the ladies have continued to train and keep focused and managed to see it through on Sunday.

“They have become an integral part of the club, not just with their success on the pitch, but off it too.

“The ladies section has brought a new energy to the club in recent years and help out on a Saturday on the gate and with parking during the men’s games, as well as fundraising and other activities at the club.”

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