Ireland and North Yorkshire have etched their name in history at the inaugural X-League World Cup.
On Friday the X-League test nations battled it out for the chance to be the first name on the ‘Lough Leane’, Ireland coached by Des Foy of KTRA and captained by Paul Flannery of Warrington Warriors put together a fantastic display of offloading and smart fringe play to beat England and Scotland in the group stages and held on brilliantly in a nail-biting final against England.
For their own part England Lionhearts, coached by Chris Coates some glimpses of greatness in all three of their games scoring some clinical trys, and Scotland, coached by Dan Roberts were unlucky not to upset Ireland in their second outing, dominting the game for large spells.
The Winning coach Des Foy said of his squads efforts, “It was always going to be a tough ask putting the team together in two parts geographically but we kept in touch in a large online group, we set out our ploicies, discussed our tactics and on the day we gelled unbelievably well as if we knew each other for years, whether its the Irish spirit or the X-League spirit I am not sure, but it was a magic experience for all involved.”
On saturday the regional and heritage teams came to Shefffield, with representation from Lancashire, Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Scotland and the Irish provincial team Munster, a ten team competiton saw North Yorkshire, ably represented by Heworth ARLFC put on an excellent display of open attacking rugby and very disciplined defence.
Competition administrator Dec Foy said of North Yorkshire, “This team seems to always possess a knockout blow and are ready to strike at all times, it doesnt matter whether its tackle one or five to them, they are ready to play expansive, but well controlled, football” It was a double celebration for the Heworth based players as Alex Hindle took home the innagural ‘Spirit of X-League’ award for embodying the spirit of the game in his teams triamphant run to be Regional-Heritage Champions.
X-League would like to thank the RFL in particular Bradley Kelk and Ash Seddon for their efforts in organising on the day, the referees who have been fantastic in picking up the nuances of the game, and the players and organisers who have brought X-League to where it is today.
Both days of action were expertly covered by Alpha Photography – (youtube.com/channel/UCPPlCATC-QUkFwp4QEDt_0A) with the Friday games being commentated by Dave Parkinson. (twitter.com/DaveParkinsonRL)
All Videos linked availble below: