The North East junior rugby league season reached a thrilling climax with Grand Finals weekend at Kingston Park Stadium, the home of Newcastle Thunder.
Orange and black was a consistent theme in the gathered crowd as Cramlington Rockets, the region’s biggest club sported four teams in the five finals.
The headline match was the U16s Championship Final between Cramlington and Wallsend Eagles.
Having already won the Cup and League Leaders Shield, a historic treble was on the cards for the Rockets.
Tension before kick off swiftly dissipated as the Rockets put their mark on the game.
Domination through the middle and swift hands outwide proving too much for Wallsend and the score at half-time was 38-0.
Wallsend could not stem the tide and the Rockets continued to pull away.
When the full time whistle went it was 62-12 to the boys from Northumberland.
The club’s U14s Black were also looking to add to silverware picked up earlier this season after topping their league. Catterick Crusaders stood in their way but from the start it was a similar story.
The Rockets quickly found their groove and despite one unconverted score from Catterick, 20 unanswered second half points meant the score ended 42-4.
With chants of “Crammy on fire” still ringing out from the changing rooms, the Cramlington Rockets U12s took the field for the Cup Final, once again against a side from Catterick Crusaders.
With early leads becoming a theme of the weekend, it was the Rockets that struck first.
Catterick’s mistakes did not go unpunished and the Rockets built a 20-0 lead after the first period.
A ferocious second half effort from both defences meant the second half incredibly saw no additional scores, meaning the Rockets collected their third trophy of the weekend.
It was not all Cramlington’s way as their U14s Orange fell to Gateshead Storm in the U14s Shield final as Storm ran in five tries, four of which were converted to win easily with a deserved 28-0 scoreline.
The final match of the weekend was between Peterlee Pumas and Catterick Crusaders for the U16s Shield with Catterick emerging 24-12 winners.
“It has been a tremendous weekend for North East Rugby League” said a delighted Rockets Chairman, Jeff Ball.
“Everyone at the club works really hard to provide an environment that cultivates enjoyment and progress so to have four finalists is proof it is no fluke.”
“There is a lot of quality in the region now and anyone wondering why they should get involved in Rugby League only need look at the faces of all the players. Win or lose, it has been a memorable weekend.”