The 17/18 season saw TRUFC field three senior sides for the first time in the club’s history – and it certainly proved to be a memorable one!
Starting the season, the 1st XV were back in the North Lancs Cumbria league following the title winning promotion last season, the 2ND XV were promoted in to Division 2 following a restructure of the NWIRU Leagues and TRUFC new 3rd XV entered the League structure in Division 5 West of the NWIRU Leagues.
The great British weather, a host of injuries and extensive travelling commitments made the season a challenging one, but players, coaches, managers and supporters rose to the challenges to make it one of the most successful in our history.
Our 1st XV were back in the North Lancs Cambrian league for the first time since suffering relegation at the end of the 2014/15 season. This was the first full season on the League with Head Coach Steve Gough at the helm, so confidence was high going in to the season which was evidenced by an unbeaten 6 game start to the season and some memorable performances along the way.
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This season saw the 1st XV establish themselves as a force in the North Lancs Cumbria League and with new challenges ahead next season, a top end finish will be the target.
Head Coach Steve Gough said: “Performances during a crucial period of bad weather and poor away pitches was to be our undoing this year, but having said that to finish as well as we did with a club record in achieving the highest points and highest league position does give a positive approach to next season. I’m sure with the experience gained this year we will be in a great position to challenge for promotion.”
Following a league restructure the 2nd XV started the campaign in the NWIRUL Division 2 North against strong well established teams including Thornton Cleveleys 1st XV who played against the 1st XV last Season in the Lancs(North) league.
A solid start to the season, the 2nd XV’s climbed as high as 2nd place and dropped as low as just 5th by the halfway mark. An excellent cup run, knocking out Thornton Cleveleys 1st XV on the way, came to a halt at the semi-final stage against Didsbury Toc H 2nd XV.
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With a solid season under their belt this season and an excellent group of Colts coming through there will definitely be ambitions for promotion next season.
2017 was an historic year for the club on the pitch as we fielded a 3rd XV for the first time in our history.
In their inaugural season the 3rd XV were placed in the NWIRUL Division 5 West which meant all bar one away game would be on the Wirral or in South Cheshire but that didn’t deter the squad and they travelled no matter what.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing by any stretch of the imagination, player availability and injuries meant that on occasion the team travelled to an away match with less than 15 players but that never deterred them and their home record and some away wins resulted in a 6th place finish which in a league of 10 well established teams is a fantastic result!
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An application has been made for the 3rd XV to move to Div 5 North which will mean less travel time to away games and some exiting derbies so we look forward to season two of the 3rd XV.
On this seasons success Chairman Hugh Patterson said “Whilst next season is shrouded with uncertainty due to league restructuring, Tarleton can reflect on a successful year on and off the field of play. Whilst some clubs struggle to recruit and retain, our Senior Section has gone from strength to strength fielding three teams successfully for the first time and there are certainly exciting times ahead.”
(Images Courtesy of Jeff Gordon)