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Prospect of promotion has focused Inverness Craig Dunain Women's minds

By Andrew Henderson

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Inverness Craig Dunain Women have had a new-found determination to improve this season – and captain Catriona Knott has credited the possibility of promotion for adding the new dimension to the team.

This season is the first time that it has been possible for a side in the north region to make the jump up to National One, but a team will have to make it through three rounds of play-offs to do so.

Craig Dunain have completed the first step – winning the North Region West League – but have been made to wait to kick off their north play-off bid as tomorrow’s scheduled opponents have been hit by travel issues.

Craig Dunain Ladies RFC,.Passing practice at rugby training..Picture: James MacKenzie..
Craig Dunain Ladies RFC,.Passing practice at rugby training..Picture: James MacKenzie..

Instead, ICD will first face Stornoway one week tomorrow, but Knott has already seen an added focus in the squad with everyone well aware of what could potentially be at stake.

“It has become a more ambitious team,” Knott said.

“The games that we’re playing, people are feeling nervous about performances because it’s meaning more to them.

“It’s not a case of just turning up and playing, people are actually putting a wee bit of pressure on themselves, which isn’t always a bad thing.

“It has become a more ambitious team, and that does mean we’re a bit more critical about how we play.

“It’s not always good enough, we still find a little bit of fault with little aspects, but I think that just really shows that we are striving to be better than we can be.”

Craig Dunain ran away with the North West League, winning all four of their matches.

But Knott is trying not to look too far ahead, taking each challenge as it comes – first the North play-offs, then potentially the West play-offs before a showdown with the bottom-placed National side.

“First of all we have to win the North Region, then that takes us on to the West match,” she maintained.

“If we win the West match we move on to a National One team.

“At the minute we’re taking it one game at a time but aiming as high as we can get. Usually we don’t get to take that step in the league, it normally comes in the knockout cup where you can draw anyone from anywhere.”

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