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Family foursome tackle rugby for Annan

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By Lewis Irons
Annan and Eskdale
Family foursome tackle rugby for Annan

A FAMILY of four all took to the pitch at the weekend to compete for Annan in rugby.

Mum-of-three Shona Barlow, 40, decided to join her kids Nicole, Kirsty and Ross by taking up the physical sport a couple of months ago and they were all in action on Sunday.
And the family, competing in different age groups, all enjoy playing and training —despite the expected knocks and bumps.
Shona said: “Nicole had been trying to persuade me for months, maybe years, to start playing, but I was always put off if she came home with an injury.”
She added: “Thankfully there have not been any breaks, but there’s been plenty of scrapes and bruises.”
Sisters Nicole, 19, and Kirsty, 15, both play scrum half, and Ross, 13, plays scrum-half or stand-off.
Nicole admitted: “Because we’re a bit smaller this kind of keeps us away from the contact.”
She travelled with her mum up to Cupar, Fife with the Annan Warriors, while Ross travelled to Dumfries for the Tigers weekend fixture — Kirsty, with the Hornets, was the only one with a home fixture
Ross said: “We all lost, but I scored a try.”
The family train every Tuesday and Thursday, and Shona joked that it is a ‘nightmare’.
She said: “We train at Galabank and it’s a nightmare because afterwards I have four pairs of boots covering my floor with artificial turf.”
Kirsty hopes to keep up the sport and has dropped other hobbies that got in the way of her playing time in the past.
Nicole noted a rise in interest towards rugby in recent years, following a Warriors taster session recently.
She said: “Until we started it up again in the summer of 2014, there hadn’t been a woman’s team for 13 years, but now there seems to be more interest, even though a lot of us hadn’t touched a rugby ball before playing for the Warriors.”
Shona added: “When I started I only knew that you had to pass the ball backwards, and that was it. I still don’t know very much, but I’m learning.”

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