BALA Ladies celebrated their first game in 16 years with a 53-5 win against Market Bosworth Lionesses in a fast flowing game.

A crowd of around 300 turned up to watch the ladies at Maes Gwyniad on Saturday, 8 June.

The Lionesses made the more promising start but their big pack tired in the latter stages of the game and Bala's fast backs ran in several well worked tries.

The original team was formed during the 1997/1998 season, and the first game was played against Bethesda ladies at Maes Gwyniad.

Bala Ladies' present team with mascots for the day (Pic: Trevor Edwards)
Bala Ladies' present team with mascots for the day (Pic: Trevor Edwards) ( )

Victory (and the odd fight) was the story of that day, with stalwarts of the team during the following years, Llinos Gwanas, Lois Griffiths and Mari Wynne among others, making their debut on the rugby field.

The team continued to strengthen year after year under the leadership of Bryan 'Yogi' Davies and a few other long suffering coaches.

The team reached the semi-final of the Welsh Cup in 2003, and the competitive games against old enemies from Dolgellau and Caernarfon Rugby Club remain long in the memory.

The friendship between the players continues to this day with the old stories about the fun and the banter on and off the field still being repeated over a pint or two.

The re-establishment of a women's team in Bala is the culmination of years of hard work by Euros Jones as rugby officer and Hwb Gwylliaid Meirionnydd to ensure opportunities for girls under 18 to play rugby locally.

Former Ysgol Godre'r Berwyn pupils and Gwylliaid players now make up the team but there are still two members from the original team.

Tina Jones was a quick winger during the early years of the team and Carmel Williams was a promising young player during the latter years.