KEIGHLEY Albion youngsters enjoyed their trip to London at the end of last month, with their Under 10s winning the North/South Challenge trophy.
As the sun shone in south London, the Keighley Albion U10 boys took to the pitch to take on the infamous side Brixton Bulls.
If the boys from the north were nervous, all the butterflies in their stomachs quickly disappeared as Oscar Napoli came from wide range for the first score of the game.
Brixton responded smartly with a try before Riley Bogle completed a fine set of practice with a powerful finish.
Again Brixton was defiant and broke the wing for a fine score, prompting Zach Coppen to show his pace and leave his opposing winger for dead to retake Albion in the lead.
Powerful Kyam Miah scored twice, either side of another effort from Brixton, once from range and once with sheer determination near the line, leaving Zach to secure his quick second effort to wrap up the first half .
Albion brought out some of their big hitters after the break, with man of the match Henry Dibbin stomping his counterpart before unloading on the impressive Thomas Jebb to finish in the corner.
Then Eli Condren rushed in for a quick thinking score after a Brixton jab near their own line was caused by Albion’s fierce defence.
Brixton tried to build momentum but found himself constantly pushed back into the tackle and forced into errors, preventing any kind of progress, and George Simpson finished a wild run and offloaded Charlie Rollason to add to their misery .
Minutes later, Sidney Richardson showed his raw power and pace down the right side, after a show from Eli and go, to add to Albion’s tally.
Brixton’s demolition was over minutes from the final whistle when Otis Waite collected a pass deep in his own half and blasted past the desperate Bulls defense for the game’s final try.
Brixton showed great courage and never backed down, but the Albion boys were ruthless and proudly held the North/South challenge trophy to the delight of their many enthusiastic and traveling fans with a 44-12 victory.
Albion U11s/U12s were also in action, and on a beautiful sunny morning in Streatham they took on Brixton U12s.
Both teams were ready for the clash as the excitement mounted towards kick-off.
The game started with a hard run and tackles from both sides, with Brixton fielding two very big boys that Albion’s pack worked hard to contain.
The score was however opened by Brixton.
Keighley fired back moments later, but with superb footwork and speed from full-back Joel Hutchinson, who tore up the pitch.
A quick offload allowed scrum-half Charlie Stokes to deftly round Brixton’s defensive line to score a fine try.
Runs and hard tackles from both teams saw possession traded back and forth, with neither team giving up an inch.
Albion strikers Ellis Southwell and Matthew Rollason were a constant threat to the Brixton defence, while strong, aggressive running and excellent tackling came from deadlocked Harry Marples.
But Brixton broke through again for a second try just before half-time.
The second half opened much like the first half without either team giving an inch.
Keighley captain Dan Hood ran his defensive line superbly against striker and center James O’Neill, prop Noah Woodward, winger Harley Anderson and second row Sonnie Atkins kept the Brixton side busy with a hard run and a brave defense.
But Brixton stretched their lead with two more tries from their impressive loose forward.
To their credit, none of Albion’s players dropped their heads.
Hooker Ben Artis was unlucky to be denied a try after one of his signature dummy half scoots and he was named man of the match for his tackle and ball delivery.
Brixton saw the game with a final score just before full time. Both teams were motivated throughout, but age and height ultimately made the difference as Brixton won 28-4.
Keighley Albion chairman Richard Dibbin said: “Yes it was a rugby tour, but it was about more than just matches.
“The camaraderie, the team spirit, the tour bus, singing, eating and spending time together were just as important, if not more so.
“The real winner was rugby league and it was a fantastic experience for the boys.
“It was a fantastic trip and we are already planning our next one.”