THE new Heriot’s team will be in National 1 – the second flight – when the Tennent’s Women’s League is restructured next year. Formed primarily by players who left Murrayfield Wanderers in the summer, Heriot’s have begun playing friendly matches but until today’s announcement did not know what their future status would be.
The Premiership will be made up of six teams, including five who are currently in the top flight. Stewartry and Annan will drop down to National 1, while Ayr will move up to the top division. Ayr are currently third in National 1A behind Oban Lorne and Garioch, both of whom are to remain in National 1. Three regional leagues will be established below those two divisions.
In a consultation process that began last year, clubs were invited to say which league they would like to apply for. Three of the clubs in the new Premiership – Ayr, Stirling County and Watsonians – will also have a team in the men’s Super 6, which is due to start in the autumn of 2019.
Much of the detail about the new set-up, including whether there will be promotion and/or relegation, the starting date for the league and the nature of the national cup competition, will only be finalised following further discussions with clubs. The SRU has asked clubs to decide between different options for the 2019 season, all of which include promotion and relegation. It was decided in April of this year that there would be no automatic promotion or relegation at the end of this current season. As things stand, the plan is to start the cup competition in March 2019 and the league in August.
Wanderers, who were for a long time one of the leading clubs in the women’s game, did not apply to be involved in the restructured league. They still have a girls’ section, however, which currently competes in the Mirage Conference.
TENNENT’S WOMEN’S LEAGUES 2019
Premiership: Ayr, Cartha Queen’s Park, Corstorphine Cougars, Hillhead Jordanhill, Stirling County, Watsonians.
National 1: Annan, Broughton, Garioch, Heriot’s, Glasgow University, Howe of Fife, Oban Lorne, Stewartry.
East League: Falkirk, Grangemouth, Kelso, Kirkcaldy, Liberton, Lismore, Livingston, RDVC.
North League: Aberdeenshire, Huntly, Inverness, Orkney, Peterhead, Shetland, Stornoway.
West League: Ardrossan Academicals, Biggar, Greenock, Hamilton, West of Scotland, Wigtownshire.