The North Wales Rugby League season kicked off on Saturday with a six-team nines competition at Rhyl.
Hard pitches and wall to wall sunshine made it a perfect receipt for the tournament leading to a fast brand of rugby which lead to great competition. All six six team played in league structure with some close games.
Flintshire Falcons where the first to exit after a tough afternoon in team return since 2013. The Dragons piped guest side Liverpool into third after a close fought third-place play off.
And in the Final, defending champion Conwy Celts weren’t going give their title up and the game wasn’t a let-down. Prestatyn and Rhyl Panthers A side known as ‘The Cubs’ were the surprise package and walked away with spoils after upsetting the odds.
Wales Rugby League president Mike Nicholas presented the trophy to close a fantastic afternoon.
Mark Parry, chair of North Wales RL, was pleased with the event and viewed this as a springboard for rest of summer.
“It was great to see a good competition to open our season,” he said. “A large crowd attended and enjoyed the fast brand of rugby we had on offer.
“Well done to the Panthers for winning the competition. Looking at the talent we have on show, it’s set to be an exciting year.”
The event culminated a busy week for Rugby League in North Wales.
On the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the annual Crusaders Cup competition kicked off with three qualification tournaments for primary schools in the Flintshire and Wrexham county areas. 28 primary schools competed for places in the Grand Final day to be held on 24 June on Queensway Stadium, Wrexham.
27 boys teams and 14 girls teams put on three tremendous day’s worth of competition, which ended with 4 boys teams and 4 girls teams from both Flintshire and Wrexham battling their way through to Grand Final day.
Community coaches Adam Daniels and Allen Jones will now be working on planning for Grand Finals day, which will surely be a fantastic day for junior rugby league in North-East Wales.
On Saturday, the newly-formed Flintshire Falcons U13s team put on a super performance to gain a 50–8 victory over North West Counties opponents Liverpool Lions.
The Falcons are building a very competitive U13s squad that will surely go well through the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, Dee Park, Corwen saw the initial games for the minis from Dee Valley Dragons and North Wales Crusaders.
Both clubs can be delighted with the way the minis performed on the day, with all players – both boys and girls – thoroughly enjoying their first taste of competitive rugby league.
Sunday saw the U11s from Wrexham Bradley Raiders play their first North West Counties game of the season, away to Goldborne Parkside.
It was well worth the trip for the Wrexham club as they returned home with a creditable 54–46 victory.
Also, in action just up the M6 were Crusaders U16s, who took on the Leyland Warriors.
Again, the points returned to North-East Wales as the young Crusaders recorded a fully deserved 26–16 vicotory in an entertaining fixture.
The win keeps Crusaders in third-place in the division and was an ideal warm-up for their home cup quarter-final next week against Goldborne Parkside.