By Haden Tye
Albion Ladies have been promoted to Championship South due to RFU reorganisation after they finished second in South West Two, missing out on the top spot by just a point.
The league re-organisation means that Albion Ladies will be promoted along with Bath Ladies, who topped the league by a point and Supermarine Ladies, who finished third. However, Supermarine will play in Championship North, whilst Albion Ladies face Bath Ladies in Championship South.
All of the sides will be promoted without play-off games. It is an exciting opportunity for Albion Ladies, who won 12 of their 16 games last season. Assistant Coach Steve Luffman told Herald Sport that the girls are delighted and looking forward to the chance to play at a higher level.
“The girls have been officially promoted,” said Steve. “Which we are delighted about – we are going up to a level one below the Premiership. To lose [the South West Two title] in the last five minutes of the last game meant a lot of disappointment for everyone and it wasn’t until the week following that we realised there might be a chance that we would be going up because of the re-organisation.
“There was a real determination anyway that we were going to put it right next season and get the job done. Now there’s just excitement. There’s two things for me – real joy over us going up, because after being top for most of the season, we deserved it and the dawning realisation about how much work we’ve got to do before next season starts, because we will be playing at a different level.
“Our first aim is to stay there. We are going to have to add to the squad and hopefully there are players out there who want to give it a try at a really good level.”
Anna Clooke, who is club captain also spoke of her happiness for the team and believes it is a reward for all the hard work the girls put in through the season.
“Obviously, we are delighted with the news that we have been promoted,” Anna told the Herald. “Obviously what that means now is a huge amount of work ahead of us. We have got the reward for all the effort the girls put in during the season.”