The Edinburgh Wolves, who have had a presence in the capital since 2002, started their women’s team only last year as an expansion to their football programme that included senior, junior and youth teams. Playing in the British American Football Association’s “Sapphire series”, they competed in 2015 finishing 9th overall in the UK. This year, with more teams entering competition as the women’s game continues to develop and expand, the league was divided into conferences North and South.
After 3 rounds of competition, the Wolves were ranked 2nd behind the Teesside Steelers, whom they had previous tied with on their last 2 encounters. Both teams headed down to Chester for the final round of the 2016 competition, with their sights set firmly on the Championship.
However, it was only ever going to be Edinburgh heading home victorious, with rookie Running back Lynsey McFadyen opening the scoring early in the game with a 12 yard dash to the endzone for the opening 6 points. The extra point was added by Wide Receiver Lauren MacDonald.
The Wolves defense held strong, keeping the Steelers back at their own 5. Stand-out Nose Tackle Rachael Moody, who was relentless all day and would claim the North Conference Most Valuable Player award, eventually put the opposition’s QB under enough pressure to launch a wayward pass only for it to be intercepted by defensive MVP Amy Wright, promptly returning it to Teesside’s endzone for another 6 points. Wright would again get in on the action, picking off the Steeler’s QB once more and again returning it for 6 points, MacDonald again adding the 1 PAT.
The game was sealed when MacDonald hauled in her 3rd of the day, a beautifully timed 8 yard pass from QB Lynsey Llewellyn, putting the game out of Teesside’s reach and securing gold for the young Edinburgh team. The Steelers would eventually go on to get a consolation score on the board, but it was too little too late. Final score Edinburgh Wolves 26 – 7 Teesside Steelers.
Speaking after the game, Head coach Mark Bramwell complimented his team, “We have had a great season this year, we recruited well, have a great bunch of players and I’m supported by an excellent staff”, he continued, “We really had a point to prove today, given that we have only managed to tie with Teesside in our last 2 meetings. It was going to come down to who prepared more and wanted it more.”
The win sees the Wolves crowned as Division 2 North conference champions, but Bramwell is realistic about the work ahead of the Edinburgh ladies. “The win this weekend is a fantastic achievement and a brilliant way to end our Sapphire series campaign. Next year we move up to Division 1, so after a few weeks off, we’re right back at it in preparation for the next step. We have a great team who aren’t afraid to work hard, so I am very optimistic for the future of this team.”