This is hardly up-to-the-minute news folks; it happened almost a month ago, right at the beginning of June. As mentioned previously though, it preceded ickledot’s epic trip East to Georgia so there was no time to write about it immediately afterwards. It actually formed part of a whole day of rugby at the famous Twickenham Stadium, rugby union HQ.
More of the other games in my next post but this one’s all about Yorkshire’s heroic women’s squad. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I missed the beginning of this season’s campaign as both Senior teams played their opener on the same day at venues which were many miles apart. I was there for the second group game against Cumbria on a scorching day at Wharfedale RUFC, and also the semi-final against Lancashire at Leigh RUFC and so was determined to be present for the Twickenham final.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love going to Twickenham. It’s always been the iconic centre of England rugby union, but now it’s a magnificent stadium. Long gone are the separate stands which ran alongside each side and end of the pitch. What we have now is a seamless bank of seating which forms a bowl or amphitheatre around and towering away from the playing surface.
On a bright day such as the one we had, this can present an issue for photographing as the pitch is sharply split, with bright sunshine on one side and much darker shadow on the other. This wasn’t so much of a problem as Yorkshire’s match began at 10.30 in the morning so the sun was not yet having an effect.
The opponents for the final were Sussex and the first few phases of play showed their place at Twickenham was well deserved. This was likely to be a stiff challenge for the white rose side. The southerners opened the scoring, first with two penalties and then a try to race into an 11-0 lead.
There’s an excellent detailed match report on the England Rugby website so I’ll not make an attempt to repeat all that less well here. We all breathed a sigh of relief when Tilly Churm powered over and that led to Yorkshire taking hold of the game.
It was never easy and perhaps the final score of 27-11 was a little flattering but certainly Yorkshire deserved the victory, crowned winners of the Gill Burns County Championship for a second year in succession. Many belated congratulations to the whole squad and all those who’ve worked and contributed to this success. As I’ve said many times before, I’m in complete awe of anyone who sets foot on a rugby pitch, regardless of ability, age or gender. But this particular bunch are something special and they fully deserve their hard earned prize, particularly at the end of a gruelling season.
This is a great time for women’s rugby in Yorkshire. The success of this squad hopefully has effects which go far beyond the players and staff themselves. They are worthy role models for hundreds of younger players across the county. It also helps to remind those with power and influence of the level of interest there is here for the game. We’ve already had two successful England internationals held in the county this season. A repeat of this and much more please!