The steep learning curve which has faced Linlithgow Rugby Cub’s girls players over the past year and a half is paying off.
Some 18 months ago most of the girls had never even played rugby before but the fact that they are now enjoying success at national level is an indication of how far they have come in that time.
After joining forces with Livingston RFC in October 2016 the Linlithgow girls - who now play as West Lothian Girls - have formed a formidable force in under-15 girls’ rugby.
Earlier this year they had a successful run in the Scottish Cup, reaching the quarter-finals of the competition.
And they followed up that performance by qualifying for the Scottish Rugby Union National 7s Finals at Murrayfield where they came up against the other top seven teams in Scotland.
Despite the quality of the opposition, they did themselves proud. In their opening pool game the West Lothian girls started strongly and went on to finish 8-1 winners against Murrayfield Wanderers.
They then followed this up with hard fought 5-3 win over Glasgow rivals Hillhead Jordanhill.
The last rubber of the pool game was against Stirling County and with both teams already having qualified for the semi-finals it was a chance to ring the changes and work on different aspects of the game.
Stirling eventually won the game and moved on to play Ayr in the first semi-final, while West Lothian were drawn against current U15 Scottish Cup champions Biggar RFC.
Although the teams turned around 2-2 at half-time, Biggar eventually proved the stronger and ran out 6-2 winners and moved on to the final where they were beaten 3-2 by Stirling County.
But the West Lothian girls, although losing, not only put in fantastic performances against the best teams in their age group in Scotland but they also continued their learning journey.
With the season having drawn to a close, Linlithgow RFC girls’ section is now looking forward to 2017-18 with pre-season due to start in July/August.
As part of its growth plans the club is looking to recruit new players (S1-S6).
Linlithgow director of youth rugby Paul Fensom said: “Rugby playing experience is not important as we will teach new players the game.
“The most important thing is that you come along and are prepared to learn and have fun.
“For younger primary aged girls we also offer mixed rugby up to P7.”