THE head coach of Dunfermline Rugby Club has spoken of his pride after their newly-formed women’s team made their competitive debut on Sunday.

Mark Dobson hailed the McKane Park ladies for coming “a long way in a short space of time” after they took to the field to face a combined Strathmore and Lismore side for their first-ever match.

Having overseen a transformation in playing numbers since his arrival in 2017, which has resulted in the club going from struggling to field two senior men’s teams to becoming one of only a handful to boast four, Dobson set the wheels in motion for a women’s side in January by organising a free eight-week training programme.

The initiative was open to females of all levels of experience, ability and fitness and, after just eight training sessions together, they scrummed down on an historic day for the club.

A round-robin competition featuring Strathmore and Perthshire had been organised but, after the latter withdrew, Dunfermline took on a joint Strathmore and Lismore team.

“Who would have thought that eight weeks ago?” Dobson commented.

“We had 22 girls available and I’m really proud of how far they’ve come in a short space of time.

“Maybe three or four of them had some rugby experience before but for the majority it is a first introduction to a contact sport.

“They’ve had to learn the principles of rugby and the contract elements, and I’m really proud of them for doing something that looked scary beforehand.”

Meanwhile, Dunfermline’s under-18 and under-15 teams were both in action in the quarter-finals of the Caledonia Cup competition – and finished with two victories.

The under-18 side were 25-15 winners at Perthshire, while the under-15s enjoyed a more decisive success, defeating Dundee by 63-10.

For more information about the women’s side and other aspects of the club, visit their Facebook page.