RUGBY: St Francis enjoy first season under new coach Aldridge

Chris Goodayle collects St Francis Rugby Club's 1st XV Player of the Season SUS-180529-114613002
Chris Goodayle collects St Francis Rugby Club's 1st XV Player of the Season SUS-180529-114613002

The season ended very successfully for St Francis after their first XV ended with third place in their league with the intention of looking for promotion next season.

St Francis’ 2nd XV ended one of their best seasons in the past decade by managing to field a side for every game and even getting themselves in the Salver Cup final.

Kiri Baxter and Anita Morgan joint collect St Francis' Player of the Season Award SUS-180529-114623002

Kiri Baxter and Anita Morgan joint collect St Francis' Player of the Season Award SUS-180529-114623002

With head coach Bob Aldridge’s first season now done he can look to push the Sussex side with his sights set on the development of a colts XV and working on expanding the ladies XV as they push for promotion next season.

St Francis will also be introducing and working with the RFU to bring O2 Touch Rugby to Southgate Playing Fields and giving people the opportunity to try the game without the physical contact aspect.

At their end of season awards dinner, the club were treated to fantastic stories by former Lion and Welsh international Derek Quinnell, who also handed out the awards for the evening.

For the most improved player awards Charlotte Jennings (ladies’ team) and Al Ellis (men’s team) were selected while Jack Veaney and Katie Mouskos won the coaches’ award for their fantastic seasons.

The ladies player of the year award was shared by the outstanding performances and workloads of Anita Morgan and Kiri Baxter while for the men’s 2nd XV Steve Etherington picked up the award. For the first XV Chris Goodayle won after a phenomenal debut season for the club.

Finally with their hard work in the background, Liam McGahan and Rhys Matthews picked up clubman of the year awards for their contribution to organising kit and sponsors for the club and Alex Minnis won the Peter Weeks award for his commitment and success as captain of the 2nd XV and his work in recruitment for the club.

The rugby club was also proud of four of their players who took part in the highly successful Run Gatwick Half Marathon.

St Francis will now look to start up their boot camp during the summer along with O2 touch rugby which will be starting in mid-June.

The club are actively looking for recruits already for both their ladies and men’s teams – check out www.stfrancisrfc.com or email playrugby@stfrancisrfc.com for more information.