Women’s 6N: Dalkeith and Marr get a taste of the big time in National Bowl final

Gary Heatly

It is a big day for Scotland and England on Saturday in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations on Saturday as the prepare to meet in front of a sold out Hive Stadium crowd, but it is a big day too for Dalkeith and Marr.

They have made it through to the women’s National Bowl final and it will be played at 11.15am on the back pitches at Murrayfield meaning that anyone who is heading to the international at 2.15pm will be able to catch a glimpse of them in action.

The teams will then be on the Hive pitch at half-time of the Six Nations game for the presentation in front of 7,774 supporters, so win or lose it will be a great day for both clubs.

And they deserve that great day given how they have built up their women’s sections in such a short space of time.

Yvonne McCathie, who will be captaining Dalkeith from tighthead prop in the final, said:  “Last week marked one year since the first ever Dalkeith ladies training session.

“We started out with four people doing fitness and a bit of contact and now we have grown to 30 active players.

“After the first session we did a lot of social media posts and encouraged people to come along and bring friends and friends of friends and the response has been excellent.

“We have been well supported by the overall club and with the men’s first team having won their league this season there is a really good feeling around at Dalkeith.

“We always hoped that the section would grow, but we never knew it would happen this fast. About 25 percent of the players had played before this and the rest were all new to it, but Lynsay Halliday [who will be playing stand-off in the final] has been coaching us and she has done a great job.

“Everyone has worked really hard to get to this point so we will just enjoy the day and take it all in.”

After playing in the Aspiring Leagues before Christmas, in the Bowl Dalkeith topped Pool B with three wins out of four to get this far.

Andy Reid is the head coach of Marr and he said:  “The first session – just a game of Touch on the astro – involved eight women in January last year and since then things have grown apace.

“I was asked to get involved to help out with coaching as I already coached the Marr boys under- 15s and the Cumnock men’s senior section and I have really enjoyed being a part of things as things have moved on.

“Numbers have grown through social media and word of mouth and the Aspiring Leagues before Christmas were important for the players as it allowed them to really put into practice the things we had worked on in training in game scenarios.

“In our first ever XVs match away to Glasgow University in January in the Bowl we lost a couple of early tries, but the team rallied and although they lost they scored four tries to get a bonus point.

“They took that into the next three games and managed to get positive results, so everyone has put a lot into this and now everyone is just buzzing to be heading to Murrayfield and be involved on such a big day for women’s rugby in Scotland.”

After playing in the Aspiring Leagues before Christmas, in the Bowl Marr topped Pool A with three wins out of four to get this far.

Thanks to the clubs for the photos

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