Cramlington Rockets blasted away the pre-season cobwebs with several age groups taking part in a series of 9s festivals around the region before the leagues start in earnest in the coming weeks.
The rugby league club’s U13s travelled to Peterlee, the U14s to Winlaton while the U16s hosted the biggest tournament of the day at their home ground of Cramlington Sporting Club, with 140 players and ten teams taking part.
A highlight of the group games saw reigning league champions Cramlington Rockets pushed all the way by a competitive Gateshead Storm side before the hosts emerged victorious to progress to a semi-final against Durham Demons.
Gateshead Storm lined up against Peterlee Pumas in the other semi-final and with both Cramlington and Peterlee successful, the final was a repeat of last season’s Grand Final.
Neither sides held back in what was a hard fought game but in the end, Cramlington just had a little bit more in the tank and took home the trophy with a 15-4 final score.
U16 coach Jordan Robinson said: “After a hard pre-season, the lads were desperate to get some match action and this year’s U16 league is shaping up to be a cracker.”
The U14s also had a profitable day, winning three of their four fixtures despite quite a few players being unavailable.
The U13s won against Wallsend and were unlucky to succumb to Peterlee and Whitley Bay in their three games.