Champion Schools Girls Semi-Finals
31st May 2012, 9:50
Reports by Adam Grice, Mark Ridgway and Abdus Miah.
England Rugby League international Becky Williams attended the Carnegie Champion Schools Girls National festivals which were held over two days at Haslams, Derby.
Each age group started with a round robin festival format with the top four teams then battling it out in Semi-Finals to determine the Schools which will be involved in the Finals at Odsal Stadium in August.
St Peters (Manchester) and Castleford Academy booked themselves a day at Odsal Stadium as they beat some tough competition to reach the Carnegie Champion Schools Finals.
St Peters overcame Deanery (Wigan) while Castleford beat Marden Bridge (North Tyneside) in the Semi-Finals to round up a pulsating festival of good quality Rugby League.
The competition began in two pools of five teams with two teams qualifying from each.
It was evident that all teams were very capable early on, with some solid defensive team work along with notable standout performances from the likes of Orleans Park’s Sequoia Bellworthy, St Wilfreds Hannah Poulter and a notable stunning long range touchdown by Marden Bridge's Beth Hawksworth.
After two tight pools it culminated in Castleford taking on Marden Bridge and Deanery against St Peters.
In the first semi final, a brace of long range efforts from Christivie Naume was enough for St Peters as they overcame Deanery 12-0.
Deanary had the majority of the possession in dangerous territory at the beginning of the match, and it looked inevitable that they would eventually break the deadlock, however St Peters' defence held firm and regained the ball before Naume found a gap and raced to the line to put her side in the lead.
Georgia Metz converted to add two to the lead. It wasn't long before Naume was on the score sheet again, rampaging through the line to score her second while Metz converted again to book her sides place in the finals.
Castleford ran out clear winners in the second semi final against a tough Marden Bridge side to seal their place in the final.
The teams were evenly matched but it was Castleford’s pace running with the ball that ultimately undone the Marden Bridge defence.
Castleford went ahead through Maize Ruddick as she wriggled free and raced towards the line to score the first touchdown of the game. Ruddick was a constant threat throughout and also kicked three out of three goals.
A brace from Taylor Dent secured the victory for Castleford as she scored the second and third tries to cap off a solid performance. Marden Bridge were unable keep up with her raw speed and power.
Marden Bridge saw enough of the ball but lacked the final burst to the line as the game finished Castleford 18 Marden Bridge 0.
Castleford will meet Manchester school St Peters in the final at the Odsal Stadium, Bradford on the August 23.
Semi-Final One Castleford High School 18 Marden Bridge (North Tyneside) 0
Semi-Final Two St Peters (Mancester) 12 Deanery (Wigan) 0
Over 300 girls took part in the Carnegie Champion Schools Year 8 competition in Derby which eventually saw St Peters (Manchester) and Settle Middle (North Yorkshire) qualifying for the National Final.
Settle Middle started off strongly in pool A of the Year 8s with a 10-6 victory over Cardinal Newman, whilst Marden Bridge got off to the best possible start with a 16-10 win over Leigh Academy.
Castleford however made the biggest statement with a dominant victory over 18-0 over North West School Cardinal Newman, whilst Leigh Academy and Settle Middle played out a 4-4 draw.
Marden Bridge were unable to stop the force of Settle Middle however, with the North East side losing 10-0.
Meanwhile Castleford edged past Leigh Academy 12-10 thanks to a last minute try and conversion from Jasmine Bell.
However, Leigh Academy soon put that disappointment behind then, with the Londoners seeing off Cardinal Newman 16-0, whilst Castleford eased past Mardin Bridge 12-0.
Results meant that Castleford and Settle Middle played out a winner takes all clash to end the group, an Ellie Dugdale try for Settle meant they finished top, with the Yorkshire side taking second place.
St Peters claimed top spot in Group B of the Year 8 Carnegie Champion Schools tournament as they won all three games.
The Manchester based school ended their group campaign with an 18 – 10 victory over Royds, after beating Barrs Hill 12 – 0 and Southfield 18 – 6.
The Yorkshire based Royds finished second to St Peters after recording a 12 – 8 victory over Barrs Hill and a 28 – 4 win over Southfields.
Barrs Hill bounced back from their opening match defeat against Royds as they beat Southfields 12 – 6, as the West Midland side avoided finishing bottom of the group.
Settle Middle took the momentum from their win over Castleford into this semi-final, and Emily Askew’s early try, along with a Millie Sharpe conversion settled the nerves.
Royds however, bounced back, Leigh Powell broke through for a try, before repeating the trick soon after, that along with a Skye Moore conversion put the Yorkshire side in control.
Yet Settle weren’t finished, and with 10 seconds remaining Ellie Dugdale touched down to level the score, Sharpe made no mistake with her pressure conversion, and put her side in the final.
St Peters overcame a strong Castleford side to reach the final at Odsal in August. A try brace from Leigh Powel and a Skye Moore single conversion, either side of a Masie Cooper try and kick ensured victory for the Manchester side.
After St Peters scored their second try Castleford struggled to muster any further opportunities where they could have got themselves back into the game.
Semi-Final One: Settle Middle (North Yorkshire) 12 v Royds (Leeds) 10
Semi-Final Two: St Peters (Manchester) 10 v Castleford Academy 6
Castleford Academy and Settle Middle School (North Yorkshire) qualified for the final of the Year 9 Girls Carnegie Champion Schools Final.
Archbishop Tension kicked off the Year 9 girls pool A, with a 16-6 victory over Natherhall, Akachi Mbakwe claiming two tries for the Londoners.
Next up was Castleford aiming in get off to a winning start, which they did with a 18-12 victory over St Peter and Paul, in a closely fought encounter.
Ribston had made a long journey up from the south-west, but weren’t rewarded in their first game against Abraham Guest, who recorded a comfortable 22-0 victory.
North-West based St Peter and Paul were next to face Natherhall, and they were to come out victorious 10-6, despite Demi Fisher’s second try and conversion in two games for Natherhall.
Archbishop made it two wins out of two when they saw off Ribston, by a 20-0 scorline.
Abraham Guest and Castleford were next to go head-to-head, in a game that was marred by an angry bust-up, overshadowing the Yorkshire side’s 6-0 victory.
At this stage St Peter and Paul and Abraham Guest both had a win and a loss to their name, so it was no shock that the pair couldn’t be separated, drawing 12-12.
By the time Castleford faced Archbishop Tension they had calmed down, and it showed with a solid 16-6 victory, Katie Innes scoring two tries.
Natherhall were desperate to get off the mark, which they did thanks to a 10-0 victory over Ribston, who were still to register a point themselves.
Abraham Guest had high hopes in this competition, so their 6-4 win over Archbishop Tension was crucial for the North West side.
Ribston were to force St Peter and Paul in their next encounter, determined to impress, their luck was out as they were shaded 6-4.
Natherhall were next to try and halt the Castleford run, but the Cumbrians were unable build on their early lead and went down 12-6.
A number of teams of teams were still in with a shout of semi-final spot going into the final games, St Peter and Paul saw off Archbishop Tension 12-6 to open the door to Abraham Guest.
The last game of pool A saw Abraham Guest overcome Natherhall 6-0, a Shannon Green try and conversion ensured a semi-final spot.
Settle booked their place in the semi finals of the Carnegie Champion Schools as they topped Group B.
The North Yorkshire club convincingly beat Bishop Ullathorne 12 – 0 ,360 Academy 10 - 0 and Orleans Park 6 – 0 to top the group above Manchester side St. Peters who narrowly missed out to Settle in a 6 – 4 opening match.
Bishop Ullathorne struggled in attack and were only able to muster one try and conversion throughout their short stay in the competition when they were beaten 12 – 6 by 360 Academy.
Coventry based Bishop lost 12 – 0 to group runners up St. Peters but salvaged a rare point by showing a solid defence to hold Orleans Park to a 0 – 0 draw.
Orleans Park of London won their penultimate match of the group stage beating 360 Academy 12 – 0 to ensure they would not pick up the wooden spoon, before bowing out after a 12 – 10 loss at the hands of St Peters.
Manchester’s St Peters went into the final group match knowing that even a win over 360 Academy meant they could not win the group because of Settle’s superiority.
The performance was not as clinical as previously seen by St Peters as they struggled to break down a resilient 360 Academy defence once, ensuring a 4 – 0 victory.
After winning every one of their pool A games Castleford qualified to face pool B runners-up St Peters. They took that confidence into this clash early on, with Katie Innes’ try and a Katie Proud conversion putting them ahead.
Determined not to go down without a fight St Peters struck back soon after, Hannah Akintoye touched down, with Kanya Timoney’s conversion levelling matters. However with time running out Innes powered through for another Castleford try, and Proud’s conversion sealed a well deserved victory.
Settle needed extra time and a golden point in order to overcome Abraham Guest and secure their place in the final at Odsal on August 23.
Lucy Dean scored the first try of the match for Settle before Niamh Benson calmly converted from in front of the posts to give them a 6 – 0 lead just over half way through the match.
Wigan based Abraham Guest responded instantly with a try and conversion of their own to level the scores. Steph Rostron grounded the ball before Shannon Green successfully kicked to ensure the match headed to extra time.
As fatigue started to set in, Yorkshire’s Settle increased the pressure on their weary opponents and eight minutes in to extra time Emily Corns grounded the ball in the corner to knock out Abraham Guest after a magnificent semi final.
Semi-Final One: Castleford 12 St Peters (Machester) 6
Semi-Final Two: Settle College (North Yorkshire) 10 Abraham Guest (Wigan) 6 (golden point score in extra time)
Hollingworth (Rochdale) dominated Group A of the Year 10 Carnegie Champion Schools tournament as they won four successive matches without conceding a point.
The Rochdale based school will face Castleford Academy in the national final in August.
Hollingworth beat 360 Academy 24 – 0, after a 30 – 0 victory over Feltham and 18 – 0 victories over President Kennedy of Coventry and group runners up Freeston.
Freeston claimed second spot in the group on point’s difference after outscoring rivals Feltham. The two sides could not be separated during their match as it ended in a 6 - 6 draw.
Freeston, who are based in Yorkshire cruised to victories in their other group stage matches as they beat 360 Academy 12 – 6 and President Kennedy 12 – 0.
Feltham, who narrowly missed out on the semi finals despite beating Coventry’s President Kennedy 14 – 6 and 360 Academy 10 – 0.
President Kennedy collected the wooden spoon after they were rooted to the bottom of the table after defensive errors gifted 360 Academy their only win of the competition.
Wade Deacon were the big winners of round one in the year 10 pool B, seeing off Christ Church 20-0, whilst Castleford started how the meant to go on with a comfortable 12-0 victory over St Benedict’s.
The Cumbrian side didn’t dwell on that defeat however, and next thrashed Christ Church 40-0. Wade Deacon were pushed to one side by a confident Castleford side 18-0, with Brogan Churn claiming two tries.
Christ Church did earn a try of their own, as they were far from embarrassed in a 22-6 defeat to Castleford, whilst Wade Deacon and St Benedicts went head-to-head to see who would progress.
Two Sammie Simpson tries for Wade Deacon helped settle a fiery encounter and put them through to the semi-finals.
Castleford cruised into the final after a comprehensive 18 – 0 victory over a lacklustre Freeston side who crumbled after conceding three tries in quick succession.
Castleford’s Hollie Poven scored a late brace which was followed by two successful conversions from Lizzie Beckett. Brogan Churm then sealed victory for Castleford as she grounded the ball in the final phase of the game.
The last action of the game was another successful conversion from Beckett who ended the game with a with a 100% completion rate.
Hollingworth had proved a force throughout the day, winning every one of their game, whilst Wade Deacon scraped past St Benedicts for their place in the tie.
It was the confident Hollingworth who made the more impressive start, Courtney Steele’s try was added to by a Sophie Holden conversion to give them a healthy lead.
Wade Deacon had plenty of possession, but couldn’t turn it into chances and were made to pay when Hayley Fielding broke to touch down, Holden again converting.
The ruthless Hollingworth weren’t finished there however, Holden touched down for another try, this time it was Holly Coburn who made no mistake from the conversion, and put her side in the final.
Both sides will meet each other in the final at Odsal on 23 August.
Semi-Final 1: Hollingworth (Rochdale) 18 Wade Deacon (Halton) 0
Semi-Final 2: Castleford 18 Freeston (Wakefield) 0
2012 Carnegie Champion Schools Finals,
Thursday 23 August, Odsal Stadium, First kick off 11.00am
Year 7 Girls Castleford Academy v St Peters (Manchester)
Year 8 Girls Settle Middle (North Yorkshire) v St Peters (Manchester)
Year 8 Boys South Leeds Academy (Leeds) v St Wilfred’s (Wakefield)
Year 9 Girls Castleford Academy v Settle College (North Yorkshire)
Year 9 Boys Temple Moor (Leeds) v St Peter and Paul (Halton)
Year 10 Girls Castleford Academy v Hollingworth (Rochdale)
Year 10 Boys Outwood Grange (Wakefield) v Ystalyfera (Wales)
Saturday 25 August, Wembley Stadium
Year 7 Boys Castleford Academy v Howard and Effingham (London)