The first Masters International Festival of the year saw Wales host both England and Ireland in a tri-nations at Bethesda Rugby Club writes Barry Andrews.

On a warm spring afternoon in North Wales, it saw three teams made up of players over 35 years old representing their national sides in a festival with every game finishing 0-0, as is the ruling in Masters Rugby League, no matter how many tries are scored.

Although every game finishes as a draw, the event saw every country give it their all to get themselves over the white line.

The first game of the day saw hosts take on Ireland. Both sides were unable to keep hold of the ball early on, but both grew into it as time went on.

Paul Moore of Ireland went closest but unfortunately ran out of steam as he was tackled into touch.

The only try of the game came Wales’ way as Gareth Evans found the only gap in the defence before going over the line.

Idris Evans found himself in behind the Irish defence on numerous occasions but was too fast for his teammates to be in support.

In the second game of the festival saw Ireland play their second game in a row against an England side eager to get going.

Although the game goes down as level, the game was very one-sided as Ireland were feeling the effects from having already played.

England went over the try line on five occasions as their fitness told. Steve Archer scoring twice with Adie Smith, Ian Worthington and Andrew Coggin also getting themselves a try.

The final game of the day saw the eagerly anticipated Wales vs England battle, and it was the only game of the day to finish with the correct masters scoring of 0-0.

A game, that had everything but a try, saw a very tight 30 minutes with both teams giving it their all to get one over their opposite number.

England found themselves in behind on a couple of occasions but just lacked that final wind to get them over the line.

Wales went closest as they managed to get over the try-line, but some great defence from England saw the ball being called as held up.

From big hits to a couple of choice words said to the other team, the festival had it, all but at the end of the day, the Masters are all there to allow players over 35 to still play the game that they love.

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