The Dorset Destroyers Wheelchair Rugby Club are Dorset’s only team, but they are establishing themselves well into the Wheelchair Rugby world by finishing second in Division Three League in their first season.
At Easter, the Destroyers were at an event for a new variation of wheelchair rugby, opening the sport to more disabled people. Paul Jenkins the Head Coach for Invictus Team UK was there coaching one of the teams and he asked the Dorset Destroyers if they wanted to play a match against the Invictus Team in Poole. You really don’t turn down an offer like that. It is an offer that cannot be refused.
The Destroyers have always had a close link with the Invictus Games, as they started taster sessions when the Games were originally on in London 2014, and shortly after that Gold Medal Winner Ben Steele joined the club and was then chosen again for the Invictus Game in 2016, winning a Bronze Medal.
The Invictus Team have given many words of support and they have donated items for the Destroyers to sell to raise funds at the very start of our club.
The Invictus Team arrived on Sunday July 2nd at Rossmore Leisure Centre in Poole and the Dorset Destroyers split into 2 teams, due to the number of players that they had.
The day was designed as part of the Invictus Teams warm up preparations for the Invictus Games in September in Toronto, Canada.
Game 1:- Dorset A 7 – Invictus 16
Game 2:- Dorset B 8 – Invictus 11
Game 3:- Dorset A 8 v Dorset B 4
Then we played a mixed match
Dorset A 1st half and then Dorset B 2nd Half 18 v Invictus Team UK 17
We had won one of the matches by one point. It had taken a herculean effort to just do that.
“The best part was the experience of playing such highly skilled players who were so positive towards us and we had such a fantastic day” said Nick Coombs, Chairman “The Invictus Team were very complimentary about us and we did well, but obviously would have loved to have won more”
“I had only been given the Club Captaincy a week earlier so this was going to be a difficult task, but the players did themselves proud” Club Captain Craig Beasley said “My first game was to take on one of the best teams in the world, but I thoroughly enjoyed the moment”
“The effect of having the Invictus Team UK come to Dorset has been enormous, lots of publicity for wheelchair rugby and the Invictus Games” chipped in Nick Coombs ”We actually had to turn people away from the match due to the hall being full. Chesil Radio, (Dorset Radio Station) even came down to watch the match, after doing an interview with some of the players. They have been great supporters of the club, and will be returning soon”
The Dorset Destroyers A Team consisted of:-
Nick Coombs, Dave Jolliffe, Grace McGowan, George Ransome, Charlie Williams, David Wilkinson, Sonja Manning, Becky Hill and Richard Holder.
The Dorset Destroyers B Team consisted of:-
Craig Beasley, Ben Steele, Luke White, Jack Sims, Alan Stevenson, Graham Lyddon and Andy Guy.
What are the plans for the future of The Dorset Destroyers?
We are going to be doing some taster sessions in Central/West Dorset to attract more players to the club, as we feel there are many people over that way who are missing out. We are in talks with our governing body GBWR to arrange some.
Who knows, we may even produce another team.
To contact the club e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 07747 586006