Andover 0 East Dorset 27

It was a historic day for Andover RFC last Sunday as the Serenity Hair sponsored senior women's team played their first-ever full fifteen-a-side league game.

In a moment many years in the making, Andover fielded a full side and two replacements for this inaugural fixture in the Ladies Inner Warrier league and although the result was not quite what they were looking for the performance showed lots of promise.

Andover looked well drilled up front, if a little smaller than their more experienced opponents, and held their own at scrum time for most of the game whilst winning the good ball at the lineout where Olivia Wells and skipper Lisa Phillimore linked well.

At the breakdown, Andover did well and certainly have more to come in this area.

Going forward, as they learn to be more expansive, they will be a real threat outside with the pace of player of the match Sian Fullarton and the power of impressive youngster Charlotte Vosakiwaiwai.

Across the game, Andover conceded five tries, as East Dorset showed what they could do with the limited possession they had, and Andover suffered a real blow when vice skipper Anna Beckett was forced off with a serious-looking leg injury. 

Tor Valler and Marta Edwards worked tirelessly up front, and Rachel Crozier and Olivia Irwin tried hard to take the game to the visitors.

In the end, Andover will be disappointed not to score with all the pressure they had in the second half, but proud as punch for what they have achieved for Andover Rugby club and Women's Rugby.

After the game Director of Rugby Andy Waite said ' Five years ago we were told we would not be able to sustain a women's contact team at Andover and we should focus on our touch team and send those wanting contact to other more established clubs. The passion showed by the Captain and manager Lisa Phillimore, the coaches Conor Green, Toby and Jake Dixon, (All current senior men's first team players) and others over the journey, to defy the odds and get this far has been unbelievable. We now feel we are a complete club at the senior level, and we really hope that from here, other women will see what we are doing and come and join us as we grow.' 

Andover Historic first league game Team list:  1 Tor Valler 2 Olivia Wells 3 Anna Beckett (VC) 4 Sarah Barber 5 Marta Edwards 6 Keeva Goodchild 7 Lisa Phillimore (C) 8 Rachael Crozier 9 Olivia Irwin 10 Keighley Black 11 Aimee Waters 12 Charlotte Vosakiwaiwai 13 Lydia Waldron 14 Sian Fullarton 15 Aimee Johnson 16 Paris Blake 17 Grace Duffy