Winscombe aiming for finals double

  • Girls National Cup finals to be played on Sunday, 30 April
  • Winscombe feature in U15 and U18 finals

It has been quite a season for Winscombe RFC. This weekend's Girls National Cup finals will see the club compete in both the U15s and U18s finals at Cheltenham Tigers RFC, a defining feat in the club's history.

Perhaps the achievement should come as no suprise consdering the involvement of Gareth Waterfield, who established girls rugby at the club in 2012. One team soon turned into three and Waterfield was last year awarded an RFU President's Award for his achievements. 

His impact at Winscombe is even more impressive considering Waterfield is profoundly deaf. For him, finals day this Sunday marks a proud moment. 

"It is a fantastic achievement to have both age groups in the Nationals Finals and the club is very proud of the progress they have made and the effort they have put in to get this far. It is a dream come true for a coach." said Waterfield.

The culmination of the competition at Cheltenham follows several rounds of regional fixtures before sides were split into north and south semi-finals where teams played in a triangular series. 

U15 final, kick off 1pm

The U15 final will see Worcester take on Winscombe with both teams having had slightly different routes to the final. 

While Windscombe scored over 50 points in their two semi-final matches, Worcester came through despite losing one of their matches to Tynedale. 

There will be some painful memories for Winscombe having reached the final last year where they were beaten by Newark who scored a try in the final minute of extra time. 

"That hurt," says Waterfield of that loss. "They knew they hadn't performed on the day and this year there has been a steely resolve for that not to happen again."

U18 final, kick off 3pm

The U18 final will see Lichfield play Winscombe with the former having qualified as Area 4 champions before winning the triangular series. 

Meanwhile Winscombe's U18s have had a rather tricky route to the final. "It's been tough but they know at U18 level it is a step up," says Waterfield. "They had a very difficult group having to play strong teams in the South West including Cleve and Worcester."

And while Waterfield accepts that everyone at the club is excited by the possible double, he emphasises that no one is getting ahead of themselves before the finals. 

"Clearly it would be more than a fairy-tale ending for all the girls to be able to hold up the trophy on Sunday but as the saying goes it not be over until the referee blows his whistle so we aren't taking anything for granted."

Regardless of result, the 2017 Girls National Cup finals will be one to remember for all involved at Winscombe RFC.