Scottish international Evie Tonkin was a spectator at Winters Park as Penrith Rugby Club’s under-15 girls enjoyed excellent games with Keswick after the long COVID-enforced break.
Evie — a former Keswick School and Keswick RFC player — who now plays for Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, said: “I love watching the under-15 matches.
“The games were fast and exciting and there was some fantastic handling skills and tackling going on in the game, especially considering the fact this was the girls’ first full contact match back after COVID.”
The Penrith players were split into two squads, led by coaches Lindsey Robinson and Julia Addison.
Matches were 10-a-side for threee 10 to 12-minute periods and the Keswick side also featured some Kendal players.
The coaches from the three clubs worked well to ensure the teams were evenly matched and everyone encouraged and supported.
Penrith RUFC coach Nigel Beaty said: “The Penrith girls exceeded expectations against some strong, and in the main older, Keswick girls.
“Although Penrith finished second on the scoreboard, there was some excellent continuity as they kept the ball alive and supported each other well, and the tackling after so long out was committed and physical.
“There is lots to work on at training once the bumps and bruises heal!
“The players gave special mention for their performances to Rebecca Newby, Penny Robinson, Sofia Hellivik, Chloe Brown, Charlotte Harnwell and the five who were playing their first match — Hazel Harrison, Caitlin Padgett, Maebh McGrath, Emily Hetherington and Lily Salmon. Thanks also to referees Malcolm Judge (Penrith) and Dave Grecic (Kendal).”
Keswick coach Steph Ratcliffe said: “Keswick girls were joined by Kendal girls and the two teams played great together, following the RFU’s ‘Game On’ strategy, getting game time for as many girls as possible throughout the county.
“We really enjoyed our trip over to Penrith. All the girls had a great afternoon. It was lovely to see so many enjoying a fun and competitive game of rugby. The girls’ sections at both clubs are going from strength to strength.”
New players of all ages are welcome at both clubs. Training at Penrith is on Fridays from 4.30pm to 6pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Training at Keswick is on Wednesdays from 5pm to 6.30pm.
- Penrith squad: Charlotte Harnwell, Emily Hetherington, Chloe Brown, Sofia Hellivik, Lexie Clark, Evie Lightburn, Maebh McGrath, Summer Goodwin, Leila Robinson, Penny Robinson, Hazel Harrison, Pippa Shay, Rebecca Newby, Amber Beaty, Caitlin Padgett, Evie Holme, Lily Salmon, Jess Graham, Katie Smith.
- Keswick squad: Experienced team — Lizzie Ratcliffe, Sophie Watson, Isla Turnbull, Izzy Jacobs, Isabel Green, Holly Telford, Lara Coates, Bethan Morgan, Molly Partington, Brooke Carr. Less experienced — Bethan Roberts, Pippa Steele, Emilia Greers, Lucy Bell, Amy Wilson, Railay Lywood, Aquella Lighterwood, Billie Watson, Jess Liness, Emilie Beston, Lucy Grecic.