Excellent performances from Newark Rugby Club girls’ under-18s saw them lift a Midlands cup on Monday.
They came from behind to beat Old Northamptonians 25-10 in the area final of the national Under-18 Girls’ Cup and book a place in the Northern final at Lichfield on April 15.
It is the first time a Newark girls’ team has been Midlands champions at under-18 level.
Many of the team were involved in the National Cup-winning side, who lifted the under-15 title in 2016.
Coach Mark Dobb said he was proud of the way the team had worked together to complete the victory.
“When their opponents scored their second try to take the lead the girls got in a huddle and said no more,” he said.
“For the rest of the match they did not let their opponents through their defensive line.
“It was great to see them coming together and showing that self determination.
“The match was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests, but every one of them did us proud and made sure we got over the line.”
A mixture of tough defence and fine attacking play served Newark well against the Northampton team.
Wing Megan Stephens scored her first try to give Newark a good start before Old Northamptonians charged back to score two tries in quick succession.
Newark went back on to the attack, however, to lead 15-10 at the break, following tries by Jess Weaver and Alex Clack.
Newark defended well in the second period and made the most of their chances, with Anya Richmond scoring a fourth try.
Stephens claimed her second in the left corner to complete the scoring and seal their Midlands success.