Ellesmere Port RUFC has been crowned the NatWest RugbyForce Pride of the North for the second year running.

More than 2,600 people voted for the Oilers in an online poll, helping them pip Redcar RUFC to the title with just seven votes between the clubs.

As one of four regional winners, the Oilers will receive a plaque for the clubhouse, a new barbecue and a visit from an England international later this month.

And club officials have been asked to explain in 200 words or less why Ellesmere Port RUFC should be named the Pride of the Nation, with a new pitch kit up for grabs.

Secretary Sarah Pratt said the Oliers were grateful to the Ellesmere Port community for helping the Chester Road club retain its title.

She said: “We have had fantastic support from the town and a lot of it is down to social media.

“We’ve had community groups on Facebook supporting us and people have been using Twitter to share the voting link.

“We’re delighted to be named Pride of the North again and we are going to tell the competition organisers how much support we have had.”

Ellesmere Port RUFC has made big strides over the past few seasons and the club has now put together a five-year plan to help maintain that progress.

Sarah said: “We have a small group of volunteers who work very hard and our plan will get us to where we want to be.

“Five years ago a lot of people didn’t even know Ellesmere Port had a rugby club but we want to be right up there with clubs like Chester and Caldy.”

NatWest RugbyForce gives clubs the chance to engage with members, the community and businesses for a DIY weekend, with this year’s event taking place on June 21 and June 22.

An England international will visit each of the regional winners on that weekend.

Sarah said: “I’ve been trying my hardest to find out which player it will be. I’ve not had much luck but we’re ally excited.”