SHARON Harrogate is back in a field of dreams after resurrecting her county rugby career.
She got the call to train with Cheshire within four weeks of returning to club rugby.
Harrogate, a mum-of-two, was snapped up by Northwich Ladies rugby union team after announcing she wanted to start playing again.
The chef, who grew up in Runcorn but now lives in Frodsham, hadn't played for three years.
But now she and team-mates prop Emma Dick-enson, 22, second-row Sophie Cantrell, 23, and 24-year-old skipper Yvonne Bradley, a flanker, have all received the call for their county. It is a major success for Northwich, who only launched their girls' and ladies' section in the summer, though the senior side moved en bloc from Crewe & Alsager College.
While living in Hampshire, Harrogate had gained representative honours for her adopted county and played Premier One rugby at Alton.
Now, the 37-year-old, whose husband Dave is in the Army, is delighted to be treading the green, green grass of home.
Harrogate had retired from the front row after blowing up to a size 24.
But two years of determined dieting saw Harrogate slim down to a trim 16 - enabling her to get back into the game she loves.
She says the thought of putting on her rugby boots again - and keeping up with children Daniel, four, and Kimberley, two - spurred her on.
She said: 'I'd had two children and was putting on weight left, right and centre.
'Then one day I thought: 'That's it. I've got to do something about my weight', so I went to a Slimming World meeting with a friend.'
Also a karate black belt, she has found her return to a healthier lifestyle so inspiring that she has become a Slimming World consultant herself.
And her new-found fitness has paid obvious dividends on the rugby field.
She said: 'I had to stop playing because I couldn't make it from one end of the pitch to the other without being out of breath.
'I used to be a prop forward but now play second row or flanker because of my speed - I've got faster.
'It is awesome to be back playing. 'I had to have four stitches in the first match - I got a really good studding and was left with a gash under the eye.
'But it hasn't deterred me. I am loving it - and up for the battle!'
Harrogate's new team moved to Northwich after winning promotion from North Division Three.
'They are a superb group of girls,' said Harrogate, 'The team is quite strong, although we want to recruit more players.
'We have played two and won two - we were up at Preston last week and won 15-5 and we'd played Manchester two weeks prior to that and beat them 45-10.'
Cheshire Ladies will play Lancashire at Chester RUFC on Thursday, November 25 (7.30pm).
Northwich are in action on Sunday, at home to Nelson & Colne.
Anyone wishing to join Northwich Ladies - or their girls' Under 14s and 17s squads - can contact Phil Clarke on 01606 781441.