Carnegie Champion Schools Year 9 National Semi-Finals
Freeston Academy 4 (Wakefield)
By Mark Ridgway
Temple Moor swept Freeston Academy to one side with a dominant display to reach the final of the Year 9 Carnegie Champion Schools competition.
In sweltering conditions, captain Jakob Thompson led by example for the commanding Temple Moor.
It was Freeston however, who were out of the traps quicker, with a Grant Newby try giving them the lead on two minutes.
However that was as good as it got for them, as tries from Tom Whitaker and Roy Railton swung the pendulum towards Temple Moor.
Freeston attempted to fight back and it wasn’t just the weather that was heated, however Thompson fired Temple Moor up and touched down to extend their lead.
Brad Sutcliffe then used his pace to break through for another try, as Brad Coates’ conversion made the score 18-4 at the break.
After the interval it was one-way traffic, Temple Moor showed their ruthless streak in attack.
Harvey Hallas touched down, before Thompson and Railton followed suit, with Josh Jordan-Roberts converting twice.
As the half wore on Freeston continued to battle, however it was Temple Moor who would add more gloss to the final score.
Whitaker along with Mackenzie Colley added further tries, before a Jordan-Roberts conversion completed the rout.
In the aftermath Temple Moor Coach, Gav Nicholson, said: “I’m so proud of the lads, they’ve got a winning mentality and I just hope we can take the prize.
“It shows how far we’ve come in the last few months to put on a show like we did today, it was very satisfying.”
Temple Moor: Brad Sutcliffe, Ben Wright, Harvey Hallas, Luke Barraclough, Tom Whitaker, Jakob Thompson, Brad Coates, Adam Waring, Mackenzie Colley, Roy Railton, Nathan Cooper, Ben Goddard, Josh Jordan-Roberts.
Replacements: Danny Quarmby, Pete Foster, Jimmy Mallhouse, Tom Norfolk.
Freeston Academy: Oliver Barker, Callum Smith, Billy Richardson, Ryan Jones, Ben Golby, Jack Slater, Kieran Hinchcliffe, Grant Newby, Sam Squire, Connor Horse, Connor Sunderland, Kieran Bailey, Jacob Jowitt.
Replacements: Matty Place, Connor Hughes, Aaron Guiry, Toby Greatorex, Adam Golding.
Saints Peter and Paul 36 (Halton)
Dowdales 10 (Barrow and South Lakes)
By Abdus Miah
A hesitant start from Dowdales handed the game to Saints Peter and Paul to give them victory and seal their place in the final.
Within the first quarter of the game Dowdales were already 16-0 down. Saints captain Samuel Brady led by example as he latched on to a handling error and crossed the line after only two minutes. Further errors allowed the impressive Daniel Keoghan and Adam Heyes extend the lead to diminish Dowdales’ hopes of getting the win.
A late solo try from Keiron Walker managed to reduce the deficit though and give his side some encouragement just before the half-time whistle. The full back ran from within his own half to get Dowdales back in the game in emphatic fashion. Bradley Walker kicked the bonus two points to leave the score 16-6 with all to play for in the second period.
However, similarly to the first half, Dowdales were responsible for their own demise as Saints Peter and Paul scored two quick tries to extend the points difference. Karl Keoghan produced a great run consisting of several hand offs before he offloaded the ball brilliantly to the help on hand in the form of Edward Connor to score the first try of the second half.
Connor converted his own try and managed four goals out of seven in total in the match.
Oliver Ashall-Bolt and Ellis Lewis scored a try each to make the win convincing. Dowdale captain Ellis Gillam scored his team’s single try in the second half to offer a glimmer of hope but this proved only a consolation.
Karl Keoghan was not going to be out done by his twin, Daniel, as he capped off a superb performance with a try of his own.
Asked about his hopes for the finals, Daniel responded confidently with one word, ‘definite’ in reference to winning the cup. Karl remained quietly hopeful. He said, “it’s our first time, it’s a big final but we can do it.’
Saints Peter and Paul Manager, Gary Greener, was equally hopeful about his sides’ chances in the final. He added, “We’ve got a good set of lads, a nice balance. Looking towards the end of the other semi final, I’d like to think we’ve got a good chance against Temple Moor.”
Saints Peter and Paul will face Temple Moor at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, on August 23.