Report from:Retiring Hornets Coach Neil “Belly” Bell
This season saw some changes for the whole of girls rugby, from being just 2 age groups: U15 and U18 teams, to being 3 age groups: U14, U16 and U18
It was also decided not to have a league this season as some teams had struggled with numbers in previous season.
The SRU decided that we would have Rugby Festivals for different regions. Annan falling in Glasgow South district and we were suppose to play in 5 organised festivals throughout the season but only managed 2. The other 2 were called off because of the weather and the last one due to the Coronavirus.
Annan U14 Hornets did very well at the 2 festivals, only losing 1 out of 12 games. So well done to all girls involved.
The U16 girls also did well, winning 7 games and losing 2 . With only having 6 girls at this age group , they joined up with another team to make up the numbers.
The U18 Girls although short on numbers played some great rugby with Biggar Girls and it was an amazing season for Lexie Steel with her Scotland call up and also for Ellie Henderson who made it to the Scotland training camps.
Myself and Billy learnt a lot from last season when the league finished (in November) and there was nothing organised for the girls, so credit must go to Billy for getting in touch with the Cumbrian Rugby Union, and thanks to them for letting us play in their festivals at U15 and U18 level
Our U15 girls were undefeated at all these festivals and these Cumbrians did want to beat us Jocks! Good to see the old rivalry was still there.
We have a good bunch of girls who do want to improve themselves and play as a team. But we need more girls to come along and play and try to encourage it in the schools.
I have to thank a few people:
First off Cameron Little from Moffat Rugby who goes to Lockerbie Academy and coaches the girls there and get some of the girls to come to Annan.
Annan Warriors Captain Nicole Barlow for helping out coaching when she can and coming to some of our games.
Abby Clark who also helped out while injured by coming along to the festivals and chasing the girls out the changing rooms.
Many thanks to Richard from Carlisle Rugby for coming up to Violetbank some nights with the Carlisle girls and joining up with us to play some games.
They say save the best till last!! But I’m not sure what the best thing about coach Billy Henderson?
Billy has done a tremendous amount of work behind closed doors. Getting us involved playing in Cumbria. Getting our U18 and U16 involved with Biggar so the U18 girls are getting game time at the festivals and also our U16 could play in the cup.
This was my last season as coach for the Hornets and coaching at Annan Rugby Club. I wished I could of ended it on a happy note by seeing all the girls and parents who I have met over the years from coaching.
Annan Rugby Club has done a lot over the years to improve children rugby in our Area and it’s been growing every year. Girls are playing which is great and there is some good girls.
I’ve been lucky to coach some of these girls from P6/7 level at Eastriggs school and also through Annan Rugby Club, and all the girls have become better players and they have made some friends and they are always smiling after a game. Which is what I love seeing after anyone plays a game of rugby
So it’s not goodbye from me but I’ll still come up and be a supporter from the mini to the men and women of Annan rugby
Stay safe these challenging times and best of luck for the coming season of 2020/2021
Editor’s Note: Neil – from all at Annan Rugby – thanks for all the time and commitment you have put in over the years. Girls rugby is looking great at Annan Rugby thanks to you. Enjoy your retirement!