History was made at Cardiff’s St Albans RFC on Sunday where the first city derby at any grade in Welsh Rugby League took place as the Cardiff Demons under 17s hosted South Coast Spartans.
Cardiff Demons are Wales’ oldest surviving rugby league club having been formed in 1997 but their famous junior sections, that have produced Super League stars like Aled James and Elliot Kear are currently going through a rebuilding process. The Spartans were formed two years ago to give more youngsters the chance to play rugby league in Cardiff, such is its growing popularity in the capital.
On a scorching hot Sunday afternoon the Spartans came out on top 36-24 in a game that had all the intensity that you’d expect from a local rivalry.
The Demons got on the score sheet first taking an early lead before the Spartans crossed the line to make the score 6-4 after ten minutes. Kyle Guy barged over the line to extend the Demons lead to six but the Spartans responded in style with three unanswered tries of their own making the score 10-20 at the break.
The Demons mounted a comeback early in the second half scoring three tries; the pick of the bunch saw Joel Duauria break the line and touch down under the sticks. A try from the Spartans and the score was delicately balanced at 24-24 with 10 minutes to go.
But two back to back breaks by the Spartans in the last few minutes resulted in two quick scores with Louis Denton picking up the winning try in a 36-24 victory.
Cardiff Demons under 17 coach, the Wales Dragonhearts international Chris Holcombe, praised his players for the manner in which they played the game against the Spartans.
“I’m really proud of the lads, they did everything I asked of them and were a credit to the club and themselves,” he said. “They’ve only been together for three weeks and some of them only turned up today for the first time so I couldn’t have asked more from them.”
Demons Chairman Mark Harris added: “This is an important day for rugby league in Cardiff. I hope it’s a rivalry that we can build on over the coming years and hopefully extend it to the senior team in the future. This is something that both clubs need to promote as something positive for the city.”