On Sunday, after 150 years, Falmouth Rugby Club fielded their first Women's XV at the recreation ground, seeing the biggest crowd of the season drawn out in damp conditions to support, writes Danny Trick. 

Playing in their inaugural game against Plymstock, Albion Oaks Women's second team, in this Inner Warrior league match, many had never even taken to a field before. The game was a spirited affair with both teams putting their bodies on the line, and both sides finishing off some great runs after good forward play.

The game was end to end stuff with very little between the two sides, Plymstock Albion Oaks taking the win 20-26.

However this game was not so much about the end result, but more the journey that these women had taken to get to this moment. Happy smiley faces and tears of joy were seen around the Rec as players, partners and parents displayed their delight at this milestone having been realised.

A mere 12 months ago this team was but a dream.

Vice captain Emma Parkman said "none of us would be here" without the leadership of captain Lydia Hawkins.

She added: "Lydia started the team from nothing just over a year ago and has built up our squad to where we are now. She’s always there for us with kind and constructive advice and coaching, enabling us to enter into our very first league game.

"Lydia brings a wealth of experience, having represented Cornwall in the county cup competition for the last two years.

"Making history is becoming a habit for her, having been part of the Gill Burns Cup winning side in the 2021/2022, season. She's making history again in 2023 by leading a Falmouth women's side into battle."

Captain Lydia Hawkins said: "I am really proud of this team and how far we've come in such a short time. It's hard work but I'm lucky to be supported by some amazing strong and driven women in the team as well as having amazing support from all aspects of the Falmouth Rugby Family.

"The men's teams, touch, academy and the committee have all put in work to help the women's team grow. I'm so grateful to be part of such an incredible club, and am thankful to local business such as Julia Evans Accountants, Edgware Associates, Natural Generation Solar Energy, Kernow Oils, Seawide Services, Helios Maritime Aviation and Just the Trick design for backing and believing in us." 

Anyone interested in backing the women's game can contact sponsorship@falmouthrugbyclub.co.uk

Falmouth Women XV are running training sessions on Thursdays at the rugby club from 7pm with a focus on an introduction to rugby for all levels of experience, from those who have never played to those who want to get back involved.

Player Eliza Robinson said: "It's great fun and hugely rewarding, encouraging you to challenge yourself and learn new skills alongside other like-minded females."

Falmouth Rugby Club welcomes any players who previously hung up their boots, or who have moved to the area and looking to find a club, make new friends and ease back into the game, or simply take that first step.

More than 25,000 women across the country have taken up the game since the Women's World Cup, with many also joining mixed touch teams as a step into the game.

Non-contact rugby is on Mondays from 6.45pm with the Raptors Mixed Touch Team and the Womens XV train on Thursday from 7pm.