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Rugby: Vagabonds Ladies make long-awaited home return

Douglas face tough Regional 2 North West task at Bowdon

Report by Dave Christian:

 

In just their third home game of the season, Vagabonds are geared up to take on Didsbury Toc H in Womens NC 1 North West this weekend. 

Didsbury won the reverse fixture 29-5 back in October. The RFU computer indicates that the sides have met three times previously with Didsbury taking the honours on all three occasions.

The season hasn’t been outstanding for either side so far - Didsbury have won three from eight but have also suffered a points deduction for an as yet unknown rule infringement, with no walkovers appearing in the results list, this is likely to have been a player registration problem. 

They’re well off the pace of the top three sides and Vagas will fancy their chances with home advantage. 

The Vagabonds season however hasn’t been going so well at least results-wise - they are bottom of the table and are winless after six games. 

That said, they really dug in away at Broughton Park and trailed by just two at half time, but were unable to follow up and had to play league leaders Liverpool St Helens shorthanded in their last outing.

The team is determined to try and make its mark before the end of the season and will want to impress the Ballafletcher faithful. 

Ella Goodwin-Jones returns at hooker and will pack down with Maisie Murray and Greeba Tasia; Kyla Akey-Quayle comes back into the second row after injury and with Ula Gona and Maylyn Campbell also in the forward pack Vagas have a strong line up.

The back line will be led by the experienced Leona McGovern in the ten jersey supported by Bliss Murtagh and Holly Scott with seasoned performers Sophie Henry and Clara Townsin adding depth outside. Vagas will also call on experienced duo Sophia Birchall and Alana Faragher.

Unity Dance School is set to perform their cheerleading routine ahead of kick off pre-match, to energize the crowd and set the stage for the game. With no men's game, the Ladies will be hoping for plenty of support on the day as they aim to secure a win.

 

Tough trip for Douglas in Regional 2 North West

Douglas return to action this week in Regional 2 North West with a tough looking trip to third place Bowdon. 

Douglas actually had Bowdon on the rack back in November and led 26-23 with four minutes remaining, before losing 30-26. 

Since then, Douglas have climbed the table quite a bit while Bowdon have faded a little since Christmas - historically the sides have met eighteen times with the win rate finely balanced at nine apiece so on paper it’s tough to call.

Scratch under the surface a little and Douglas are struggling a little player-wise.

A series of injuries saw a recall for the semi-retired Cark Markle-Ferns two weeks ago, but they appear to have weathered the storm and have a strong squad available. 

Harry Hewson, Owen Carvin and Cal Dentith all return and while Liam Kirkpatrick will be missing, back ups Angus Wheeler and James Good will fill the gap.

**

Fixtures 2 March 2024

Regional 2 North West

Bowdon v Douglas @ Bowdon (KO TBC)

Womens NC1 North West

Vagabonds v Didsbury Toc H @ Ballafletcher (1pm KO)

Ravenscroft Manx Shield

Ramsey P-P Castletown


 

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