OLDERSHAW Community Sports Club celebrated a historical moment as the club’s first-ever women's contact rugby game was played on their ground against Wirral Ladies.

Whilst it was an exciting and nerve-wracking event for all involved, it was ultimately a triumph for women's rugby and a significant milestone for Oldershaw.

Led by their captain Liv Cunningham and buoyed by the adrenaline of the day, Oldershaw raced to an early lead, with tries from Erin Abbott (x2) and Hayley Jones taking them to a 19-0 lead.

Wirral Globe: Oldershaw and Wirral Ladies line up before their historic rugby match Oldershaw and Wirral Ladies line up before their historic rugby match (Image: Steve Billington)

The more experienced Wirral side came back strongly and started to take control of the game, with their powerful runners scoring three successive tries to close the gap to 19-17.

The day however, belonged to Oldershaw. With the attritional nature of the game showing, and players from both sides tiring, two tries from Tayla-Jayne Healy extended Oldershaw's lead, and they ran out as 29-17 winners.

The player of the match was awarded to Oldershaw’s Erin Abbott, although a strong case could be made for several of Oldershaw's players, not least young number 8 Eleanor Atherton who has a bright future going forward.

Several Wirral players produced some excellent rugby with many commenting on the quality across both teams generally and the expansive rugby that was a joy to watch.

It is remarkable to note that many of the women in the team only began playing contact rugby six months ago. Coach Marc Barrowcliff, assisted by Ricky Robinson and Chris Jordan, deserves much praise for the way in which he has developed the team in such a short space of time.


A spokesperson for the club said: "Oldershaw have been lucky to have a thriving women’s touch rugby team called the Diamonds for many years now and the decision to start a contact team was a natural progression. The commitment to women’s rugby and the success of that section is something the club is very proud of.

"Oldershaw has always been an inclusive sports club, with a commitment to providing opportunities to everyone, irrespective of their gender, age, race or skill level. This game highlighted the club's dedication to challenging traditional gender roles in sports, and to providing a safe and supportive environment for all players.

"The game marked the start of what will undoubtedly be a bright future for women's contact rugby at Oldershaw, and a testament to what can be achieved with determination, hard work and a commitment to inclusivity."

It is hoped that this landmark event will inspire more girls and women to take up rugby, whether it be contact or touch.

Oldershaw welcomes all women who would like to try rugby in a friendly and inclusive environment. Whether you are new to the game or a seasoned player, you will be welcomed at Oldershaw. Please contact oldershawrfcchair@outlook.com or message 07966 900 927 for more details on training times and events.