Keswick players thrilled by Twickenham experience playing for Cumbria – The Keswick Reminder

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School teacherSiobhan Lamb, of Keswick, with her parents David and Linda.

A former Keswick Falcon who is a member of Cumbria women’s rugby union squad played on Twickenham’s hallowed turf and described the experience as “amazing”.

It was the first time a Cumbria ladies’ team had qualified for a showpiece match at English rugby’s headquarters.

They booked their place in a Gill Burns county championship final after winning three divisional pool matches. Two convincing victories over Staffordshire and Oxfordshire were followed by a dramatic final game against Essex which the Cumbrians edged 24-22.

That set up Sunday’s Twickenham clash with Devon, who won 53-12 on the day having also reached last year’s final.

But huge smiles and inspiring stories abounded within the Cumbria camp.

Siobhan Lamb, head of year nine and a history teacher at Penrith’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, was one of those in the 24-woman squad.

Siobhan, 29, began playing at Keswick School from years seven to 11. Other talented town girls then included England internationals Abbie Ward, Cath O’Donnell and May Campbell, and Scotland’s Evie Tonkin.

Siobhan didn’t play again for 10 years. But at QEGS she began coaching girls’ rugby and was then encouraged by young players to resume her own career. She played for Keswick Falcons before moving to Kendal and has represented Cumbria for two seasons.

“It feels like a bit of a dream,” said flanker and No 8 Siobhan this week as she reflected on a Twickenham debut. “It was just amazing, walking down the tunnel on to the bright green grass.

“It went very quickly. The result was a shame. We trained really hard and we have a close-knit team with a lot of very talented players. Unfortunately Devon were just better on the day.”

There was huge support from QEGS staff and students for Siobhan, who also coaches in Penrith within the Cumbria girls under-16 development programme.

“It means so much to inspire them, to be a positive role model,” she added. “It really does mean a lot. I guess that’s what we all do it for.”

Members of the current Falcons squad who also played in the final were Leanne Grave; Lily Hodgson, Mag Todd and Vicky Mitchell.

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