Fern’s over Beds border

The final selections for this year s junior regional girls rugby squads have thrown up some interesting results. There is the intriguing prospect of Letchworth girls facing each other on the field when the programme of regional games begin next month. Th

The final selections for this year's junior regional girls' rugby squads have thrown up some interesting results.

There is the intriguing prospect of Letchworth girls facing each other on the field when the programme of regional games begin next month.

Three girls from Baldock Road have made this year's East Region under-17 team.

Squad 'veterans' Sasha Acheson - who divides her time between Letchworth and Sudbury - and Hayley Guilder are joined by Naomi Parnell, for whom it was third time lucky in her final year of under-17 rugby.


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They were not the only girls from the club to get the regional call.

Fern Glenister, who only moved up from under-14 rugby this season, has also been called up for the region.

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But as she lives over the border in Bedfordshire, it will be East Midlands that she will be turning out for.

And the exciting thing for all the girls is that on March 18 the two regions are due to play each other on Fern's regional 'home ground'.

The East will attempt to gain revenge for a narrow East Midlands win at Harpenden in the same fixture last year.

Team manager John Birch said: "The standard of girls' regional rugby gets better and better every year - selection was incredibly tough this season and we are delighted to get any of our girls through.

"I'm particularly pleased for Nim - she's been our leading under-17 player ever since we began, a devastating defensive tackler.

"But until this year she never showed what she could do at trials. It's her final season of junior rugby and she really deserves this recognition.

"But it's Fern who's really exceeded all expectations.

"It's taken a special degree of dedication and determination for Fern to even find out when and where the trials were, let alone go along to them as the only Letchworth player there.

"For her - in her first year of under-17 rugby - to then get into a squad that pulls in the best players from as far away as Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire is just incredible."

* The first ever county rugby tournament for girls' school teams was a huge success.

Six teams entered at Welwyn last Wednesday with four of them representing single schools - Highfield (Letchworth) and Hitchin Girls' School along with Roysia (Royston) and Yavneh College (Borehamwood) - plus two combined town teams from Welwyn and Hertford.

The girls were from school Years Seven to Nine, and the games were played to the full RFUW under-14 laws with scrums and full contact tackling.

For many girls from the single schools, this was their first competitive fixture but the two combined teams included many experienced players from their respective town's club teams.

They were clearly in a different league to everyone else from the outset and so the day was split with 'Welwyn' and 'Hertford' going straight into the final which Hertford won 25-5.

All the local interest was in the 'newcomers' event.

Hitchin Girls' School, coached and supported by Letchworth's girls' under-17 team, narrowly triumphed over Highfield who were coached and supported by a different set of Letchworth under-17s!

It was by virtue of scoring one more try over the day. Roysia from Royston came third.

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