Southampton Spitfires celebrate first silverware
Southampton Spitfires Rugby League club are celebrating after their impressive Women's team won the Southern Division title at the first attempt last Saturday.
The trophy is the first major success for the Spitfires club which formed in 2007.
The team finished top of the league and then won the end of season play-off Grand Final against second placed West London Sharks, running out 36-34 winners in the final held at Surrey Sports Park.
Their opponents West London have enjoyed a strangle hold on women's Rugby League in the South in recent years but the unbeaten Spitfires went into the clash as favourites due to their higher league finish.
Trailing by two points with a minute remaining the title looked to be heading once again to West London, however Karen Honeygold had other ideas, crashing in at the corner for a 79th minute winning try.
The Women's section was only established in May last year but has already produced two England Student internationals and a host of England Teachers squad members.
The section was formed with the help of a sponsorship deal from Southampton based women's garage My Purple Garage whose corporate colours of white and purple are worn by the team.
The Grand Final success marks the end of the Women's season, which runs through the summer months.
Meanwhile Southampton's Men's team take on big city derby rivals Portsmouth this coming weekend in the South East divisional Grand Final with the possibility of more silverware and south coast bragging rights up for grabs.
As well as the Men’s and Women’s sides Southampton Spitfires also run Under-14s and Under-10s fun skills sessions and currently have around 120 members in total.
The club was originally formed by Glenn Tyreman, a York born PE Teacher and ex-Rugby League player who moved to Southampton after marrying Claire, a local lass and full time rugby widow.
The club has a direct link to Super League outfit Hull Kingston Rovers as the club's main sponsor is ClearSky Accounting, a Warrington and Poole based company owned by Rovers director Rob Crossland.
Spitfires player Oliver Johnson is a current community Rugby League international with the English Lions and scored against both the Welsh Dragonhearts and Scotland Bravehearts earlier this season.
He has played for England Lionhearts and had trials with London Broncos and came close to signing for London Skolars.
Their Club President is Tom Gainford - an ex-pro with 400 games under his belt for Whitehaven, Carlisle and Barrow who now lives in Southampton.
In 2011 Southampton were invited to enter the South West Counties championships as Hampshire and won the competition. In 2012 they joined forces with rivals Portsmouth and retained the trophy.
New players are always welcome and can register for next season by contacting Head Coach Glenn Tyreman via 07737804769.
For more information on Southampton Spitfires visit: www.southampton-spitfires.co.uk