It’s been called the comeback story of the season, as Haverfordwest Rugby Club’s women’s team won the National Bowl Final at the Principality Stadium this weekend.

The Haverfordwest Ladies triumphed in a 20-17 victory over Merched Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd.

The victory is all the sweeter when you consider that in January 2022 the team was on the brink of folding.

“We had a handful of players turning up for training and maybe 10 or 11 players for a game,” said player of the match Jana Neuman.

Western Telegraph: A delighted Jana Neuman talks to S4C after being named player of the match.A delighted Jana Neuman talks to S4C after being named player of the match. (Image: Angela Brown)

Thanks to a social media recruitment drive where they asked ‘anyone who had played any sport and anyone who had never played sport’ to come and give it a go the team recruited strong new players andwith dedication and reiliance went on to win the Bowl Final.

“It was emotional. We were so happy,” said Jana.

“We were on the back foot at first but we all rallied round each other. The supporters were amazing. They really kept us going."

Captain Emma Summons described the win as ‘class’.

“I’m so proud of the girls. The first half we made a few mistakes but when the crunch came, we bottled down,” she said.

“Thank you to every single person who has supported us along the way. It was great to see so many people make the journey down.”

Teammate Jess James scored the deciding try, crossing the line in the 71st minute to seal the 20-17 victory.

“That try was for the team,” she said. “It was absolutely surreal, it was only a few weeks ago I was here watching Wales play England. It was amazing.

James has been playing rugby with Haverfordwest Ladies for a year.

“The girls have taken me in as part of the family,” she said. “I’ve never been more proud of every single person that’s here”

She thanked all the supporters who had been behind the team through thick and thin.

“I’m grateful for every person who has come down here. They knew we could get here and we’ve done it,” she said.

The squad of experienced players and newcomers have travelled to victory under the guidance of former coach Jeff Clout and the new management, including Steve Barnett, Morgan Layton and Tony George.

The strong and determined team’s journey to the Principality Stadium has included victories over Tumble, Porthcawl, Wrexham and Blackwood and is said to be ‘one of the comeback stories of the season’.

Welsh internationals Jasmine Joyce, Lisa Neumann, Nicola John and Sarah Lawrence have all passed through the Haverfordwest ranks and the club as whole, which will soon celebrate its 150th anniversary, can also boast Wales caps Peter Morgan and more recently front rowers Rob Evans and Sam Parry.